This book is the first comprehensive survey of Ukrainian historical writing in North America during the Cold War. The author describes the development of Ukrainian historical studies in Canada and the United States as an open, sometimes difficult dialogue between the Ukrainian ethnic and academic communities on the one hand and between Ukrainian scholars and Western academic mainstream on the other. He focuses on the institutional and the intellectual issues including various interpretations of major topics related to the Ukrainian national grand narrative, considering them in the evolving academic and political contexts of Slavic, East European, and Soviet studies.
Volodymyr Kravchenko is professor in the Department of History, Classics, and Religion at the University of Alberta.
Chapter 1. Transfer of Knowledge
Chapter 2. The American Academic Mainstream vs. Ukrainian Studies
Chapter 3. The Ukrainian Grand Narrative: Last Stand?
Chapter 4. The United States: A Changing Landscape
Chapter 5. The Ukrainian Grand Narrative: In Search of Alternatives
Chapter 6. Canada: In Search of New Ways
Chapter 7. The Ukrainian Grand Narrative: Toward a New Synthesis
“Volodymyr Kravchenko has provided us with a spell-binding analysis of one of the most fascinating cases of a national historiography in exile and diaspora. Ukrainian historians outside of the Soviet Ukraine assembled overwhelmingly in North America where they were overwhelmingly concerned with providing a historical national master narrative that was different from that of Soviet Ukraine which made their histories highly political, polemical and contested. Kravchenko provides an authoritative guide through the labyrinths of stories and biographies associated with that historiography and its development over more than 70 years. The current conflict in the Ukraine is testimony to the political relevance of these stories – for better or worse. Kravchenko shows, among other things, how the influence of North American exile historians on their counterparts in the Ukraine was having a positive effect in pluralizing that historiography and making it more aware of the pitfalls of Ukrainian nationalism.”
As Ukraine emerged out of the ruins of the collapsing Soviet Union in the early 1990s, its politicians and intellectuals turned to the record of their nation’s history and culture preserved by the North American diaspora. As Volodymyr Kravchenko shows exceptionally well, what the Ukrainians got was much more than the preserved old records. A new understanding of Ukrainian history and culture was formed as the result of the joint work of the Ukrainian refugees and their North American counterparts in the academic institutions of the United States and Canada. It is impossible to understand today’s Ukraine without appreciating the contribution made to its self-identification by the scholars and intellectuals working in the Cold War era North America, and it is difficult to understand the later without reading this highly original book.