Serhii Plokhy at Harvard Book Store
The Russo-Ukrainian War:
The Return of History
in conversation with ALEXANDRA VACROUX
May 22, 2023
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes SERHII PLOKHY—Mykhailo S. Hrushevs'kyi Professor of Ukrainian History and director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University—for a discussion of his new book The Russo-Ukrainian War: The Return of History. He will be joined in conversation by Executive Director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University, ALEXANDRA VACROUX.
A Return to In-Person Events
Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Harvard Book Store events until further notice:
- Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the store. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth.
About The Russo-Ukrainian War
Despite repeated warnings from the White House, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 shocked the world. Why did Putin start the war—and why has it unfolded in previously unimaginable ways? Ukrainians have resisted a superior military; the West has united, while Russia grows increasingly isolated.
Serhii Plokhy, a leading historian of Ukraine and the Cold War, offers a definitive account of this conflict, its origins, course, and the already apparent and possible future consequences. Though the current war began eight years before the all-out assault—on February 27, 2014, when Russian armed forces seized the building of the Crimean parliament—the roots of this conflict can be traced back even earlier, to post-Soviet tensions and imperial collapse in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Providing a broad historical context and an examination of Ukraine and Russia’s ideas and cultures, as well as domestic and international politics, Plokhy reveals that while this new Cold War was not inevitable, it was predictable.
Ukraine, Plokhy argues, has remained central to Russia’s idea of itself even as Ukrainians have followed a radically different path. In a new international environment defined by the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the disintegration of the post–Cold War international order, and a resurgence of populist nationalism, Ukraine is now more than ever the most volatile fault line between authoritarianism and democratic Europe.
Praise for The Russo-Ukrainian War
"An utterly compelling account, deeply personal, persuasively authoritative, surely the must-read book for this challenging moment." —Philippe Sands, author of East West Street
"The essential book about the Russia-Ukraine war—superb, accessible and erudite—by the world’s chief expert. The must-read work." —Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of The World: A Family History of Humanity
"For those trying to understand the roots of the war in Ukraine, there is no better guide than Serhii Plokhy. It’s impossible to make sense of the Russian invasion of 2022 without knowing something of the history—recent and less recent—and the struggle for Ukrainian national identity; this compelling and lucid book illuminates both." —Lindsey Hilsum, author of In Extremis
"Insightful . . . Readers aiming to follow the fighting should read the daily news, but for a complete picture, this is the book." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
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