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About The Book

The collection Fashioning Modern Ukraine: Selected Writings of Mykola Kostomarov, Volodymyr Antonovych, and Mykhailo Drahomanov presents for the first time in English a number of seminal texts by three major nineteenth-century scholars and leaders of the national movement in Ukraine. The first and third sections of the book feature respectively the writings of Mykola Kostomarov and Mykhailo Drahomanov-descendants of the Cossack middle stratum and members of an influential Ukrainian intelligentsia that arose from that stratum. The second section highlights the works of Volodymyr Antonovych-the most prominent member of a group of Polish nobles of Right-Bank Ukraine who professed democratic values and in the early 1860s declared themselves Ukrainian. In their day Kostomarov, Antonovych, and Drahomanov were leading Ukrainian historians, political theorists, and intellectuals, but their ideas continued to be significant even later, in the early twentieth century, when the Ukrainian national movement relied heavily on their writings for inspiration and direction.

The editor of this book, Serhiy Bilenky, has also written the introduction, biographical notes, explanatory prefaces, and many supplementary footnotes. In the conclusion to his introduction he points out the importance of publishing this collection: "The ideas and political activity of major intellectuals of nineteenth-century Ukraine, such as Mykola Kostomarov, Volodymyr Antonovych, and Mykhailo Drahomanov, were directly or indirectly responsible both for the major achievements and for the no less spectacular failures of the Ukrainian national movement and, as such, deserve to be studied with great attention today, when Ukrainian identity, culture, and statehood face a number of new and old challenges from within and without."

The collection includes the following texts:

  • Mykola Kostomarov: excerpts from "The Autobiography of Mykola Kostomarov" (1922)
  • Mykola Kostomarov: "The Autobiography" (1885)
  • Mykola Kostomarov: "Two Rus' Nationalities"
  • Volodymyr Antonovych: "Memoirs"
  • Volodymyr Antonovych: "My Confession"
  • Volodymyr Antonovych: "The Views of the Ukrainophiles"
  • Mykhailo Drahomanov: "Autobiographical Sketch"
  • Mykhailo Drahomanov: "Jews and Poles in the Southwestern Region"
  • Mykhailo Drahomanov: "Selected Correspondence with the Old Hromada of Kyiv"

About The Authors

Volodymyr Antonovych

Volodymyr Antonovych

Volodymyr Antonovych (1834-1908) was a prominent historian, archeographer, and archeologist. Professor of history at Kyiv University from 1878, editor in chief of the publications of the Kyiv Archeographic Commission, patron and head (from 1881) of the Historical Society of Nestor the Chronicler in Kyiv, and organizer of archeological …

Mykola Kostomarov

Mykola Kostomarov

Mykola Kostomarov (1817-1885) was a prominent historian, publicist, and writer. Professor of history at Kyiv University, in the 1840s he cofounded a clandestine society of Ukrainian intellectuals, the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood, and wrote its programmatic text Books of the Genesis of the Ukrainian People. In 1847 he was arrested …

Mykhailo Drahomanov

Mykhailo Drahomanov

Mykhailo Drahomanov (1841-1895) was a prominent Ukrainian historian, ethnographer, civic leader, publicist, political thinker. Dismissed from his position at Kyiv University in 1875, he was forced to emigrate. Entrusted by the Ukrainian Hromada if Kyiv with the mission to become its spokesman in Western Europe, he settled in Geneva in 1876. …

Contributing Authors


  1. David Saunders's review in the East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies, Vol. III, No. 2 (2016), pp. 177-79
  2. Piotr Wrobel’s review in Przeglad Historyczny, Vol. CV, No. 3, 2014, pp. 529-31 (in Polish)

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