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Heroes and Villains: Creating National History in Contemporary Ukraine
by:David R. Marples
In 2004, world attention was focused on Ukraine's 'Orange Revolution', which appeared to herald a new and promising era for independent Ukraine. Though such hopes proved over-optimistic there is no question that Ukraine has embarked on the process of nation building. But a new nation needs a national history and in this sphere, there has been sustained...
In 2004, world attention was focused on Ukraine's 'Orange Revolution', which appeared to herald a new and promising era for independent Ukraine. Though such hopes proved over-optimistic there is no question that Ukraine has embarked on the process of nation building. But a new nation needs a national history and in this sphere, there has been sustained debate over the interpretations of the recent past. David R. Marples examines these narratives through a wide variety of books, scholarly and newspaper articles, and school textbooks, focusing on some of the most difficult events of the Stalin years in narratives from 1988 to 2005. His focus is on some of the most tragic events of the 20th century: the Famine of 1932 33, the consequences of the Nazi Soviet Pact, integral nationalism and the war roles of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), and the Ukrainian Polish conflict of 1943 47. How has this new history been formed? To what extent have the villains of yesterday become the heroes of today? And how does the modern state view these events and to what extent to they define the national outlook of contemporary Ukraine?
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