Book recommendations for Ukrainian/Ruthenian history?

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The gates of Europe by Serhii Plokhy is a good start.


You could check out authors that write about Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth or Grand duchy of Lithuania as well – Ukraine was an important part of it.

Nos specific authors come to mind in the moment though.



I love Anna Reid’s works *Borderland: A Journey through the History of Ukraine *and *Leningrad: Tragedy of a City Under Siege, 1941-1944 *

*Borderland* seems more aligned with what you are looking for but I tell everyone about *Leningrad* any chance I can. Amazing works blending social, political and military history.

Best of luck!


You might try *With their Backs to the Mountains: A History of Carpathian Rus’ and Carpatho-Rusyns* by Paul Robert Magocsi. This covers ancient/pre-history.


Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin from Timothy Snyderand the movie : Come and See. both detail the ukrainian hunger crisis called Holodomor . a very important event that defined modern ukraine.
Edit: Come and see is about Belarus under nazi rule not related to ukraine.


I have the first English translation (2021) of the only eyewitness account of the famous “Attack of the Dead Men” from “The Defense of the Fortress Osowiec” (1915). I would like to share it with you all.

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Op, this is an amazing story, thank you very much for sharing it. Though, at the risk of coming off as rude, it is very difficult to read in it’s current format. I took the liberty of reformatting it and breaking it down into smaller, more consistent paragraphs below if anyone would like to read it or if it needs to be shared elsewhere. Hope it helps!


Thank you for sharing this piece of history


Osowiec then and again, attack of the dead, 100 men


I was pretty sure that many Russians knew about “the attack of the dead men”. I asked four of my colleagues (we are all Russians). None of them has heard of it. Though they heard about chemical weapon usage in WWI in general.


Amazing bit of history.

That Wikipedia stub needs to be updated with a condensed version of this translation.


Simple/Short/Silly History Questions Saturday, April 16, 2022

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What kind of underwear was Hitler probably wearing when he died?


How were paints typically priced during the Renaissance? I got a little bit of information on how they probably were made, but not how they were priced. Also what colors were common for a collection of paints? I’d love some book recommendations as well on this.


When did ordinary people first start keeping ornamental house plants?


Why didn’t bidets get popular in America? Was it just porcelain supply chain issues? Weren’t they popular in Europe at the time? Popularity was enough to encourage wide adoption of manicured grassy lawns- laws even require it in many places now. So why no bidets?


What was life really like during the Great depression? We see so much about the people who were completely devastated by it, as well as those who were able to capitalize on it, but how much did life change for the average American whose job wasn’t lost?


Looking for more information about the rebuilding of Warsaw after WW2

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I read somewhere once that the Varsovians (residents of Warsaw) reconstructed their city based on paintings by Venetian artist Bernardo Bellotto, who lived in the 18th century. He was made court painter to the King of Poland in 1768 and created some pretty accurate paintings of Warsaw’s buildings and squares, which the Varsovians used as inspiration in the reconstruction of Warsaw after WWII.


See if you can find a copy/scan of “The six-year plan for the reconstruction of Warsaw” (“Sześcioletni plan odbudowy Warszawy” in Polish), released in 1951. The book is massive (the copy I have at home is 350+ B4 pages) and includes a lot of photographs, diagrams etc. A lot of it is pure propaganda (the book’s sole official author is Bierut, for example), but it’s very interesting nonetheless.


As guide told us during the excursion, the old town of Warszawa was rebuild by citizens money. It was the first part of the the town, which was rebuild after the war


It’s actually a pretty interesting story, from how all was just ruined to how they build it up again. And some places just as it was before. (old quarter) or was that Krakow maybe. Have to look it up again. But the rebuilding of polish city’s after ww2 is fascinating.


Something that may interest you as a comparison is comparing the rebuilding of Warsaw with that of Nowa Huta. Both followed different philosophies of ‘reconstruction’, so could be interesting to examine in tandem


N.Y. Public Library Releases 180K High Res Photos online – Dating back to the 11th century

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11th century high res photos huh?


Hope I can see me some great knight on snail violence


Looks like there are a bunch of stereographs in the collection. I am tempted to print a bunch off and donate to our local museum so they can expand their collection, but would need to see if they are wanted or already have first.


Mf making 4k photos of some 11th century monarch


Wow, it’s like the old micro-fiche but on crack.


How did countries in the Early Modern Age enforce their territoriality on their islands?

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The Middle Kingdom argument is a bit silly in my opinion since China has often had wars over its borders. While many Chinese kingdoms still liked the pretense that they were inherently superior to their rivals, by the Song Dynasty they were forced to admit (on paper at least) that other Empires existed and were of similar diplomatic precedence. 15th century was kind of interesting as the preceding dynasty ruling over China was Mongolian and a remnant of that dynasty still was active in Mongolia.

I think it’s more fair to say that borders only existed where borders were negotiated. Often land and ocean that wasn’t politically interesting was not really considered in political negotiations.

At least that’s my two cents


By this yardstick the islands were Portuguese per the Spanish-Portuguese splitting of the globe in two.


Really back in those days what was “yours” was most clearly defined as what you could stop somebody else from taking. If an island was in a remote part of for example the Pacific Ocean, and there wasn’t anything worth while trade or resource wise on the island they probably didn’t try very hard to assert claims in those places because it wasn’t practical.


The European approach was a lot less sophisticated.

Small islands were usually not seen as that valuable up to 1800. They were often barren in resources and it was too complicated to effectively tax their tiny economies. Since about 1800, small islands became valuable fortresses for long range artilleries.

Large island were treated like every other area, with constant military vigilance. There is no large island in Europe that was not disputed. “Marking it” would have meant very little without stationed forces. The European experience in the modern age was simple. Everything will be taken from you, if you cannot defend it.


> they told me that the Chinese mindset throughout its history is that they always considered ALL territories Chinese territory so there wouldn’t be a need for them to mark something that was already theirs.

It’s less of a case “belonging to them” and more that the Chinese (at least from the time of the Ming and Qing) felt that their nation was so enlightened and superior that they felt all other nations had to pay vassalage or tribute to them, at least as a token sign of respect and acknowledging Chinese superiority (hence the Treasure Fleet expeditions during the Ming dynasty, which main goal was to reaffirm their “superiority” to neighboring states).

In the modern guise, you see that with the foreign policies of the post-WWII US as a superpower – even though they didn’t believe they owned the world, they for the most part felt they had the right to dictate certain things like the type of leadership neighboring countries in Latin America and elsewhere should have (anti-communist, pro-US) and going so far as to overthrow them when they didn’t fancy them (the Chinese treasure fleet under the Ming did something similar, helping a rebel faction in Ceylon overthrow a less friendly regime when their expedition arrived at the island).