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1. The Reconstruction Of Nations:
$36.29 $31.97
2. Belorussia 1944: The Soviet General
$26.50 $22.95
3. Independent Belarus: Domestic
4. Historical Dictionary of Belarus
5. Belarus: At a Crossroads in History
6. Belarus and Moldova: Country Studies
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7. Revolution from Abroad: The Soviet
$15.95 list($18.95)
8. The Dark Lady from Belorusse:
9. Belarus: From Soviet Rule to Nuclear
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10. Writing, Society and Culture in
11. Collaboration in the Holocaust
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12. Belarus: A Denationalized Nation
13. The Belarus Secret: The Nazi Connection
14. Belarus: President Alexander Lukashenko
15. Of Mermaids and Rock Singers:
16. Belarusan national identity as
17. Archives and Manuscript Repositories
18. Jews of Bielorussia During World
19. Belarus Investment and Business
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20. Contemporary Belarus: Between

1. The Reconstruction Of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999
by Timothy Snyder
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Asin: 030010586X
Catlog: Book (2004-08-31)
Publisher: Yale University Press
Sales Rank: 75567
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Timothy Snyder traces the emergence of four rival modern nationalist ideologies from common medieval notions of citizenship. He presents the ideological innovations and ethnic cleansings that abetted the spread of modern nationalism but also examines recent statesmanship that has allowed national interests to be channeled toward peace.

“A work of profound scholarship and considerable importance.”—Timothy Garton Ash, St. Antony’sCollege, University of Oxford

“Timothy Snyder’s style is a welcome reminder that history writing can be—indeed, ought to be—a literary pursuit.”— Charles King, Times Literary Supplement

“A brilliant and fascinating analysis of the subtleties, complexities, and paradoxes of the evolution of nations in Eastern Europe. It has major implications for all of us who want to understand the processes of state collapse and nation-building in the world.”—Samuel P. Huntington, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies

“Snyder’s ultimate query in this fresh and stimulating look at the path to nationhood is how the bitter experiences along the way, including the bitterest—ethnic cleansing—are to be overcome.”
—Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs

•Awarded the George Louis Beer prize of the American Historical Association, 2003
•Awarded the Eastern Review prize, 2003

Timothy Snyder is assistant professor of history at Yale University.
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Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars When nationalists go crazy
There is something very Polish about this book; not merely in the fact that the last third of it is a generous, and somewhat indulgent account of Polish foreign policy since 1989. There is a tendency within Polish culture towards very black humor; one thinks of Gombrowicz, Kosinski, and Polanski. What we have here is a story of nationalist obtuseness and narrow-mindedness. Then, during the Second World War, this nationalism degenerates into murder and mass slaughter. But after 1989, there is a happy ending, at least for Poland. It is as unconvincing as a Hollywood film but no less real than that. Basically Timothy Snyder's book about nationalism in Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine and Belarus deals with a conflict between two rival nationalist conceptions. 1569 saw the formation of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which covered most of what are now those four countries. In offered religious tolerance to all and civil rights to the political nation. The catch was that the "political nation" was the nobility, and the vast majority of people in the Commonwealth were peasants. Over the next two centuries the Commonwealth declined and was partitioned out of existence in the 1790s. As Polish nobles thought about trying to win back their independence, many of them wanted to win back the tolerant, federalist ideas of the old Commonwealth. However in the 19th century a new, more modern idea of nationalism began to take shape. In a more democratic age the nation consisted of the people. Instead of a compromise between various elites, the people, usually defined by language, would form their own nations. First in Poland, then in Lithuania, then slowly in Ukraine and only very partially now in Belarus, would the second idea triumph.

Snyder amusingly shows the many ironies as the nationalists sought to get their way. One is that Poles had the habit of referring to their former country as "Lithuania," a coinage immortalized in the most famous lines of the national poet, Adam Mickiewicz. Mickiewicz himself never imagined a Lithuania separate from Poland, and never set foot in the Polish heartlands of Warsaw or Cracow, yet his poetry was used by both Lithuanian nationalists and Polish chauvinists to justify partition. Another irony is that Lithuanian nationalists wished to retake their "national city" Vilnius and make it their capital, a desire not hampered in the slightest by the fact that less than 2% of Vilnius' residents in 1920 could speak Lithuanian. There are a whole host of prominent politicians from all four countries who, notwithstanding their patriotic protests, are actually from somewhere else or have relatives and wives from one of the other groups. Snyder goes on to discuss the Vilnius question in the twenties and thirties. In the early twenties Poland easily occupied the city, much to the impotent anger of the Lithuanians. However, as a result of the Nazi-Soviet pact the Soviet Union gave Vilnius to Lithuania. One would think that the Lithuanians would spend their last days of independence before the Soviet annexation in 1940 trying to find a way of defending themselves. Instead they spent much of their time quarrelling over Polish theatres and the possible threat from a defeated and dismembered Poland. Nor were they entirely wrong to do so. For decades Lithuanian nationalists had feared Polish culture more than Russian. Oddly enough, Soviet occupation vindicated that judgement. Notwithstanding the fact that the Soviets deported 5% of the Lithuanian population in the forties, the proportion of Vilnius that was Lithuanian increased from 2% to 50% by 1990.

If Polish-Lithuanian relations were strange, relations with Ukraine were kind of sick. By the late thirties a small, quasi-fascist group, known as the OUN had formed. At the time it was much less popular in Polish Ukraine than socialism, moderate agrarianism, or Soviet communism. Not even the Great Famine in Soviet Ukraine had dimmed Russophilia. But then the Germans conquered all of what is now the Ukraine and the OUN saw its chance. After working with the Nazis to slaughter Jews, in 1943 it saw its chance with German weakness to strike out on its own. As part of its anti-German and anti-Soviet/Russian strategy it sought, not to attack the Germans, or the Soviet partisans, so much as to slaughter the Poles living in Volhynia region, a process both evil and insane. The pages describing this are truly stunning, backed up with archival evidence, as the OUN butchered 70,000 Poles. The Poles responded, often with substantial brutality (they killed perhaps 20,000 Ukrainians), with both the Home Army and Polish Communists involved. After the war there was a "transfer" of Polish and Ukrainian populations.

However, once 1989 came along Poland followed a policy of supporting the independence of Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine and keeping their present borders. Any concerns over national minorities would not get in the way of basic civil relations. The other three countries were not wild about this, but they accepted it as a way of getting close to Europe. Snyder is very informative but I have some cavils. First, the struggle is largely between different ideas of nationality; other conflicts, whether between classes, over political mobilization, and over religion, are not as well treated. Second, Snyder does not really explain why Russian and later Soviet culture had so little impact on the Lithuanians and Ukrainians. One would not know, as Stephen Kotkin reported in 2002, that perhaps a majority of Ukrainians regret independence and certainly show much less enthusiasm for it now. Third, there is something disconcertingly apologetic about the treatment of the Greek Catholic/Ukrainian metropolitan Sheptyts'kyi. He may have sheltered Jews, but he supported using the more "moderate" OUN faction as a potential Ukrainian army by becoming an SS division. His denunciation of slaughter in 1942 came after 17 months of the systematic slaughter of Ukrainian Jewry.

4-0 out of 5 stars Federalism and Nationalism in East Slavic lands
In some ways this is a marvellous book, dealing with the life and death of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and with the states which succeeded it. This Republic of nobles and gentry has often been ridiculed for its weaknesses and its inability to resist its more powerful neighbors, but as long as it lasted there was more freedom, religious, political, and social, within its borders than anywhere else in Europe. It was not only the powerful empires of Germany, Russia, and Austria-Hungary which did it in; it was also destroyed by the growth of nationalism, the idea that a state should be more or less the same as a nation. Snyder shows with devastating irony how artificial nationalist ideologies really are, but also how powerful they can become and how deadly. Certainly the world of Eastern Europe would have been better under the inspiration of the great "Lithuanian" poet Adam Mickiewicz and the last great Polish politician Josef Pilsudski, but this was not to be.

Snyder, however, closes his book on what can only be called Polish propaganda, that is the claim that the Poles, of all the East Slavic and Baltic peoples, have learned the lessons of history. Many would dispute this. He attributes far too much to the role of the Poles in preventing hostilities at the end of Soviet rule from degenerating into Yugoslavian civil war. Thus a very fine historical analysis ends on a weak and a false note. But you would have to go far to find a better history of ethnic conflict and accomodation in Eastern Europe. You might have to go to the potboiler novels of Polish history of Henryk Sienkiewicz (the author also of Quo Vadis)but I don't recommend this. They will bore you to death.

Snyder should take his publisher to task for many errors in grammar and punctuation and for mere carelessly. Yale University Press did a good job getting Polish, Ukrainian, and Baltic names spelled correctly (no mean trick) but it seems to have had some problem with simple English.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential for Understanding Eastern Europe
This is THE book for all those interested in a better understanding of Eastern Europe. It is a model of its kind, unique in scope, shows a mastery of multiple langauge sources, and is a scholarly yet readable account of the history of the largest European country of its day, the Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealthy of 1569. Prof. Snyder's account is masterly, even-handed, and scrupulously fair with a clear and valuable thesis. It brings the complex strands of a neglected part of Europe into focus and explains while Poland and its Eastern neighbors were able to reach a peaceful accommodation after the downfall of the soviet Union. Tragically, the Balkans did not enjoy the longterm fencebuilding that kept this corner of the world at peace. Snyder's account of the Polish-Ukrainian conflicts during World War II is groundbreaking and fills a vital gap in this story. Not since "God's Playground" has the story been told so well. Wonderful book. Buy it. ... Read more

2. Belorussia 1944: The Soviet General Staff Study (Soviet (Russian) Study of War)
by David M. Glantz, Harold Orenstein
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Asin: 0415351162
Catlog: Book (2004-08-01)
Publisher: Frank Cass Publishers
Sales Rank: 1089843
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3. Independent Belarus: Domestic Determinants, Regional Dynamics, and Implications for the West
by Margarita M. Balmaceda, James Clem, Lisbeth L. Tarlow, James I. Clem
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Asin: 0916458946
Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Sales Rank: 632811
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Book Description

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 ushered in a period of democratization and market reform extending across the East-Central European region, with one important exception: Belarus. Ironically, Belarus's fledgling attempts at democracy produced a leader who has suspended the post-Soviet constitution and its institutions and created a personal dictatorship. Located in the center of the European continent, Belarus lies at the crossroads of an expanded NATO and the Russian "near abroad." This fact underlines the importance of Belarus to European security and to East-West relations.

To discuss developments in Belarus, an international group of scholars and policymakers gathered at Harvard University in 1999. The broad spectrum of issues covered is examined in this volume, providing an understanding of Belarus today and its prospects for the future.

In addition to the editors, contributors include Timothy Colton, David Marples, Uladzimir Padhol, Rainer Lindner, Patricia Brukoff, Leonid Zlotnikov, Arkadii Moshes, Andrei Sannikov, Yuri Drakokhrust, Dmitri Furman, John Reppert, Astrid Sahm, Kirsten Westphal, Hrihoriy Perepelytsia, Algirdas Gricius, AgnieszkaMagzdiak-Miszewska, Hans-Georg Wieck, Sherman Garnett, Elaine Conkievich, and Caryn Wilde. ... Read more

4. Historical Dictionary of Belarus
by Jan Zaprudnik, Jan Zaprudnik
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Asin: 0810834499
Catlog: Book (1998-07)
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield (Non NBN)
Sales Rank: 485578
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Belarus is a state that emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Union. Like many other states formerly part of the Soviet Union, it had little experience with national independence, and during the twentieth century was heavily influenced by Russia. The "Historical Dictionary of Belarus" only becomes more important due to the lack of attention that has been paid to this country. Its relationship with Russia will be a crucial determining factor in the future of Eastern Europe, as the two countries once again grow closer politically and economically. The introduction investigates how this relationship will impact upon the future of this small nation as well as the power dynamics of NATO and Europe. The Dictionary covers a broad range of topics including, Belarus's history, economy, politics, religion, culture, and demographics. It looks back on the country's origins, and gains insight from its history of domination by Poland and Russia, as well as its historically strategic location between Western Europe and Russia. the Baltic Sea. It also traces many nationalist and independence movements and discusses their cultural impact upon present day Belarus. Over four hundred dictionary entries provide quick and easy access to basic facts and personalities from Belarus, including important historical figures as well as contemporary political players. An important volume dedicated to a new and still relatively unknown country, the Historical Dictionary of Belarus goes far in finally bringing information about this area and its people to the light of day. An essential volume for those trying to grip the importance of the furious changes occurring in post-Soviet Europe. The book also includes two maps: one of Belarus's position in Europe, and a detailed map of the country. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book!
"Historical Dictionary of Belarus" consists of four parts: chronology of historical events (from the earliest times to our days); overview of Belarus's history; a dictionary part (over 400 articles and biographical sketches); bibliography (including citations in English, with articles from Belarusian Review); and a supplement "Rulers of Belarus" (from Duke Rahvalod to President Luukashenka). The volume has two maps: one indicating Belarus' main cities and towns (courtesy of Belarusian Review) and the other showing the strategic location of Belarus in the East European context. As of today, Zaprudnik's book is the only English-language source of data on Belarus' past and present. The volume provides essential information on historical personages, current figures, political parties and their leaders; it has articles on archeology, early tribes, main rivers, major battles, economy, education, historiography, demography, language, culture, literature, arts, religion, national idea, the Belarusian diaspora, recent referenda, parliament, human rights, etc. In the article on alphabets, two sets of characters are given: Cyrillic and Latin. This will be of assistance to those who are not familiar with the Belarusian Latin and Cyrillic alphabets that have been and are still used. The easy style of the dictionary will enable English speaking families with Belarusian heritage in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia to use the book in explaining to their children and grandchildren the country of their origin and its present status in the world. The book could also be helpful to those who are learning English and wish to inform their foreign friends about Belarus. ... Read more

5. Belarus: At a Crossroads in History (Westview Series on the Post-Soviet Republics)
by Jan Zaprudnik
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Asin: 0813317940
Catlog: Book (1993-08-01)
Publisher: Westview Press
Sales Rank: 502714
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A native Belarusan paints a vivid picture of his country's complex past, paving the way for his analysis of the challenges now facing the republic in the wake of a disintegrating Soviet Union. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Quite interesting
Jan does a good job in outlining the course of events that occurred over a long period of time. My main complaint about his work is that he maintains a focus on the intelligentsia to a point where I as a reader felt that there was a large void left to be filled. Nevertheless, this book is filled with interesting tidbits that will well feed a historical mind. Even though he quite clearly writes as a patriot and does little to explain the current clamboring for Belarus to reunite with the Russians, he manages to maintain something of a level hand through the course of the book in regards to the Lithuanians, Ukrainians and Poles. Especially towards the end, he provides some insightful analysis into the current mood of the country, though his economic analysis is, at best, limited. Should Mr. Zaprudnik ever choose to extend his writings on this rather interesting country, I would like to see him write more on the trends of society at large, for I think he would provide a very intriguing insight into a rather obscure field.

5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating book about a people who eschew their nation.
Jan Zaprudnik poignantly records what was and what might have been in his beloved Belarus. He writes from a nationalist point of view about a country which finds it hard to be nationalistic, currently preferring a wider slavic entity in wishing to unite with Russia. The book attempts to unify a shifting geography and disparate history of Lithuanians, Russians and Belarusians into that of a single nation. The result is as incohesive as modern Belarus. Therein may lie its genius or dearth. ... Read more

6. Belarus and Moldova: Country Studies (Area Handbook Series.)
by Helen Fedor, Library of Congress Federal Research Division
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Asin: 0844408492
Catlog: Book (1996-05-01)
Publisher: Library of Congress
Sales Rank: 1229981
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7. Revolution from Abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia
by Jan Tomasz Gross
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Asin: 0691096031
Catlog: Book (2002-04-22)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 627703
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Jan Gross describes the terrors of the Soviet occupation of the lands that made up eastern Poland between the two world wars: the Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia. His lucid analysis of the revolution that came to Poland from abroad is based on hundreds of first-hand accounts of the hardship, suffering, and social chaos that accompanied the Sovietization of this poorest section of a poverty-stricken country. Woven into the author's exploration of events from the Soviet's German-supported aggression against Poland in September of 1939 to Germany's attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, these testimonies not only illuminate his conclusions about the nature of totalitarianism but also make a powerful statement of their own. Those who endured the imposition of Soviet rule and mass deportations to forced resettlement, labor camps, and prisons of the Soviet Union are here allowed to speak for themselves, and they do so with grim effectiveness. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Revolution from abroad, and inside too
Jan Gross does a commendable job in expanding the studies of World War II Central European History beyond the dominant themes: Poland, and the Holocaust.

He focuses on what was, from Versailles to Molotov-Ribbentrop, eastern Poland, today, Byelorussia, Lithuania and western Ukraine. The first map effectively demonstrates the shifting borders, and how ethnographic identities could be lost in a swirl of martial dust. Jan Gross starts with the dual invasion of September 1939, and at a social anthropological level, examines the initial responses of the ethnic populations of those areas either outright taken by Soviet forces, or first seized by German forces, and then ceded back to Soviet control. The first part "Seizure" is broken into three chapters that neatly chronicle the seizure, transfer of authority from Polish government to Soviet government, the so-called elections, and final imposition of total social control. The Soviets exploited the chaos and lawlessness that existed prior to and during the initial stages of their arrival to impose their own hierarchy and control mechanisms, whether through promises of wealth redistribution, political power via elections, or simple terror. While going through this process, Gross spends detailed, yet concise prose on scrutinizing the new power relationships between Poles "cruelly victimized" Ukrainians "always exploited" and Jews "weak...looking for some power to regulate their relationships." Gross goes to great lengths to destroy the myth that Jews were frequent, widespread conspirators or supporters of the new Communist regime. Gross proves that there was a level playing field, in which "people lost all privacy." He further goes to show how the Soviets tapped into the emotional vein of all peasants in the region since the 17th century, land distribution and reform, not so much to "make things better" but to "create havoc in the countryside." Ultimately, as gross notes, the Soviets sought an "induced self destruction of a community."

The elections were the final part of the triad for the imposition of Soviet control. They made everyone vulnerable, and created power struggles between teachers and other intellectual leaders, and the new regime and its officers, no matter how stupid, inept or corrupt. The great quote on p. 85 sums of the average reception of elections, held just weeks after the Soviets took over "What the voting was for...I don't know." Gross details the actual voting, counting of votes and manipulation of the results by the Soviets, and how the October 1939 elections set the stage for follow on elections (and state processes for control) in March 1940.

In his detailed examination of social control, Gross asserts his most interesting scholarly work, namely, that instead of the totalitarian state confiscating the private realm, in fact, the Soviet system privatized the public realm. In other words, the state did not control the terror-every private citizen had access to terror and its effects by making private matters an issue of public (Soviet) concern. As Gross further notes in his theory "the real power of the totalitarian state results from it being at the disposal of every inhabitant, available for hire at a moment's notice."

In the second part of the book "Confinements," Gross concentrates on the maintenance of terror until the (re) liberation by the Germans in 1941. He concentrates on the upending of the social apple cart where traditional authority figures such as parents, religious leaders and teachers are replaced by cultural, sports and militant atheism programs to woo, seduce, and control the youth. Through this, and the induction of permanent disorder, the Trotsky ideal of permanent revolution is maintained, even while Trotsky himself is drinking tequila and waiting for an ice pick in Mexico. The substructure for permanent chaos and terror is the NKVD, their prisons, tortures, and depopulation/deportation of peoples. Gross estimates that in 20 months, in just this region, approximately 120,000 people were arrested and imprisoned, and another 315,000 deported. For this rural area with few cities, this is indeed a staggering toll in such a short time, and added to the wider destruction of World War II, represents a towering figure of almost unimaginable and permeating suffering and loss. Gross ends the regular text with a challenge to historians to move into the kresy between the Oder and the Urals, and really examine the 1939-1941 period with its larger implications not only on the war, but all of post modern central European history.

Lastly, in this new expanded addition, Gross adds an after word, "Tangle Web," that examines the interaction of Polish, Jewish, Ukrainian and Lithuanian suffering, but primarily focused on Poles and Jews in previously Polish lands. That the Polish elites were decimated is not debatable; that the Jews were almost eliminated is also not debatable. What Gross tries to do, with mixed results, is move the debate past the common stereotypes (which means admitting that they exist, no easy task in this region) and into the long term effects, still present today, and, as Lenin would say, ask what is to be done? Finally Gross spends some more time on the issue, not of Polish Jewish relations, but of Soviet Jewish relations, and concludes that, referring to the deportations of Jews, the "victims of deportations turned out to be the lucky ones." Gross also shows other tidbits of anecdotal evidence that seems to show the potential for almost disastrous post war Polish Jewish relations existed, in not in fact, than at least in the perceived public perceptions, as early as late 1939, and grew worse under the cumulative pressures of Germans, Soviets, Germans again, Soviets again, imposition of Warsaw Pact in the 1939 to 1949 decade.

This book is a hard read, because it deals with many layers of issues simultaneously. Life, too, is not a series of isolated events, but a sequential interaction of parallel choices, actions, and occurrences. Gross thus makes a statement better than the average historical timeline, but more challenging in its presentation, and demanding in its search for illumination and accuracy.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent
According to the Polish national anthem, "Poland is not dead whilst we live. What others took by force, with the sword will be taken back." Both Nazi and Soviet occupiers must have taken these words to heart as they set out thoroughly to crush the Polish population between September 1939 and June 1941. In Revolution from Abroad: the Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorusssia, Jan T. Gross (New York University) draws on documents from Polish, German, Israeli, and U.S. archives to show with camera-like precision how ordinary Polish citizens at the grassroots level experienced the Soviet occupation of Poland and the mechanisms Soviet authorities used to induce their participation. U.S. citizens who have never known the horrors of foreign occupation will find this study especially sobering. Polish citizens never knew when a few Soviet soldiers might enter their houses and apartments, live there for several days or weeks, eat their food, and steal their possessions. If they resisted, they faced arrest, torture, and/or execution, often in full view of loved ones. As Soviet soldiers explained to the newly adopted Soviet citizens, "There are three categories of people in the Soviet Union: those who were in jail, those who are in jail, and those who will be in jail." (p. 230). Gross points out that, in sheer numbers, more Polish citizens suffered under Soviet occupation in the first two years of World World II (i.e. before the Nazis' mass annihilation of Jews began) than under German occupation. Whereas the Germans killed approximately 120,000 Poles, the Soviet security police (NKVD) nearly "matched that figure in just two episodes of mass execution" (viz., the mass murder of Polish prisoners of war in the spring of 1940, and the evacuation of prisons in the Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia during June and July 1941). (p. 228). However, despite the Soviets' greater victimization of Polish citizens in terms of loss of life, suffering inflicted by forced resettlement, and material losses through confiscation, Gross argues that, to the Polish and Jewish citizens, the Soviet occupiers seemed less "oppressive." They lacked the "discriminatory contempt" and "√úbermensch airs" that the Nazis evinced so imperiously (p. 230). The author explains that perhaps one reason why the Soviet army seemed less oppressive at first is that it claimed to "liberate" Poland. Generally, the population was confused about Soviet intentions, and indeed, "nobody had warned the local community and the authorities that a Bolshevik invasion was possible and what to do in case it occurred" (p. 22). The deceptive slogans of national liberation soothed millions of wishful thinking Polish citizens-Jews, Ukrainians, Belorussians-who "could meet fellow ethnics" in the Red Army or the Soviet administration (p. 230). The stark contrast between soldiers in the Wehrmacht and those in the Red Army - the latter in coats of assorted lengths, with rags wrapped around their shoeless feet -- also made the Soviet occupiers seem less intimidating. Still another reason for the Red Army's cloddish image is the febrile rapaciousness with which the soldiers bought and consumed Polish goods. Expecting to hear discussions of lofty communist ideals, Poles instead saw "in the marketplace how these Soviet people ate eggs, shell and all, horseradish, beets, and other produce. Country women rolled with laughter" (p. 46). In a restaurant "a Red Army soldier might order several courses or a dozen pastries and eat them all on the spot" (p. 46). In comparison to Nazi Germany, then, the Soviet Union struck the Poles as a petty and materialistic "spoiler state."
In addition to these colorful descriptions in the first part of the book, Gross also raises a serious, but long neglected, topic in his final historiographical essay ("A Tangled Web"): Polish-Jewish relations during World War II. Why didn't more Polish citizens try to help the Polish Jews? To be sure, one faced severe penalties-torture and execution, often in front of one's family members. However, ignorance persists among Poles today about the ultimate fate of Polish Jews. Gross cites an opinion poll in which Poles were asked who suffered and died more, the Poles or Jews, during World War II? About 30% thought it was roughly equal. Almost no one realized that nearly all Polish Jews were killed. Gross also explains how anti-Semitism prevailed in Poland during the war and even after (Auschwitz) was revealed in all its horror (p . 248).
Revolution from Abroad thus makes an important contribution to a growing body of literature about the ignorance of the populations in Warsaw Pact countries of their countries' Nazi pasts. The Soviet-imposed myth about "communist heroes of resistance" enabled them for decades to avoid the painful questions faced long ago by other Western countries, West Germany in particular.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant analysis of an ignored event of World War II
The main primary source of this book is a collection of thousands of handwritten statements collected by the Polish government in exile when they interviewed the surviving Polish citizens released after the 1942 "amnesty" of those detained by the Soviets after 1939. By careful research, crosschecking and comparison with other resources Professor Gross has been able to produce a work of exceptional clarity and importance in understanding the workings of Stalinism in particular and totalitarianism in general.

He provides an outline of Soviet occupation policy and methods. The whole process seems to have been well planned out, one phase setting up the conditions to implement the second, which in turn set up the conditions for the third, all this operating within an artificial atmosphere of fear, chaos and confusion. An initial period of lawlessness, promoted by the Soviets in order for a rapid collapse of the old order accompanied by the promoting of ethic hatreds among the four main groups- Poles, Ukrainians, Belorussians and Jews, was followed by rapid consolidation of police powers by those who owed their new won power to Soviet authority alone. In the process of laying out this interesting story, Gross adds many interesting insights.

Discussion of social control, prisons and deportation, NKVD interrogation methods (including use of female interrogators) and much more provides a well rounded sketch of this particularly brutal episode of Polish history. I found his analysis of the "privatization of the public realm", "the spoiler state", "totalitarian language", and Soviet use of family networks to insure discipline and control illuminating.

Actually the only short coming of this very interesting book is that is was published in 1988 just before the end of the Soviet Union and thus produced without the use of the since partially-opened Soviet archives. He only has limited information on the Katyn massacres for instance. While this should not affect his conclusions or insights, it may give more accurate statistics than those quoted. Perhaps a new revised edition is called for. In the meantime, this book should be a welcome addition to any library on Polish history, Soviet history or the history of World War II. ... Read more

8. The Dark Lady from Belorusse: A Memoir
by Jerome Charyn
list price: $18.95
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Asin: 031216808X
Catlog: Book (1997-10-01)
Publisher: St Martins Pr
Sales Rank: 93500
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Good Imagination Can Go A Long Way
Jerome Charyn's "Dark Lady From Belorusse" is an entertaining little book, however it is practically impossible to believe that even a quarter of the events depicted in this "memoir" are true. Charyn would have us believe that he grasped situations at the age of five that wouldn't be well handled by a 50-year-old. I took the stories he tells about his mother, her interaction with local Bronx gangsters, and his dysfunctional family with a grain of salt. While some of these events may have taken place, there is no way they occurred as the author remembers them in this book. The author's fanciful embellishments can be a little annoying - what exactly does he take his readers for? - especially since he is attempting to pass the book off as a work of nonfiction. Charyn does better by his readers in his sequel to the "Dark Lady" entitled "The Black Swan," where he admits in an endnote that many of the events and characters depicted are fictional.

Disappointment over blatant fabrication aside, Charyn is a very creative writer with a vivid imagination that makes for interesting reading. His writing style can be a bit disjointed, and he sometimes clouds his descriptions with confusing, non-essential fodder that strays from the main idea. Charyn's anecdotes are entertaining if not believable, and the characters are vivid and fun to read about (although you'd probably not want to actually meet these people!). If poor little Charyn's mother and father are anything in life as they are in the book, the kid should be given a medal for survival. The portrayals are fascinating, and one would hope that there aren't too many parents out there like the one "Baby" has to endure.

"The Dark Lady..." is only about 100 pages long - you can read it in no time. If you have an afternoon to spare and don't mind the author's inability to discern fact from fiction, give it a read

5-0 out of 5 stars Bronx memories
I loved this little book. I'm now reading the sequal, The Black Swan. I picked them up because they take place in the Bronx, where I grew up, and Charyn is close to my age. I frequented some of the places he did, but we had wildly different experiences. He is obsessed with his beautiful mother as were so many men she knew. He was extraordinary too. Reads a little like Doctorow only this is a memoir not a fantasy--or is it?

Little Charyn goes from about five years old to seven years old in this book. How he remembers everything so vividly (or is making most of it up} I don't know. But it's great story telling. At about 100 pages a book,though, Charyn seems to be stretching out his stories in order to extract as much money per page as he can. I'm reading library copies. ... Read more

9. Belarus: From Soviet Rule to Nuclear Catastrophe
by David R. Marples
list price: $75.00
our price: $75.00
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Asin: 0312161816
Catlog: Book (1996-06-01)
Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
Sales Rank: 1274396
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid Review of Economic and Social Problems of Belarus
Author Marples has taken an exceptionally difficult topic, the emergence of the Republic of Belarus, and developed a highly informative report on the emergence of a very tortured nation. His assessment of Chernobyl-related problems, the country's and the world's response and the implications for future generations of Belarusians was especially well documented and portrayed an assessment of the country that could only have been developed by an author who was especially familiar with the day-to-day grass-roots response to the Chernobyl disaster. His book showed an especially strong understanding of relief work in the Gomel oblast. Perhaps the only weakness of this book was that it was written as Alexander Lukashenko was coming to power and, as such, provided a backdrop but not a full assessment of subsequent events. It would be very informative to view this author's assessment of the implications of Lukashenko's regieme on Belarus. ... Read more

10. Writing, Society and Culture in Early Rus, c. 950-1300
by Simon Franklin
list price: $70.00
our price: $64.40
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Asin: 0521813816
Catlog: Book (2002-08-29)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 113707
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Book Description

This is the first comprehensive study of the origins and early uses of Russian writing. Simon Franklin examines a wide range of writings, from the parchment manuscripts of the Orthodox Church, through the Novgorod birch-bark documents, to inscriptions on stone and metal. He analyzes the texts from a variety of perspectives, and presents fascinating insight into this crucial aspect of Russian history. The impressive scholarship and idiosyncratic wit of the volume commend it to specialists in Russian history and Russian literature. ... Read more

11. Collaboration in the Holocaust : Crimes of the Local Police in Belorussia and Ukraine, 1941-44
by Martin Dean
list price: $30.00
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Asin: 1403963711
Catlog: Book (2003-03-24)
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Sales Rank: 1202504
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What was the role played by local police volunteers in the Holocaust? Using powerful eyewitness descriptions from the towns and villages of Belorussia and Ukraine, Martin Dean's new book reveals local policemen as hands-on collaborators of the Nazis. They brutally drove Jewish neighbors from their homes and guarded them closely on the way to their deaths. Some distinguished themselves as ruthless murders. Outnumbering German police manpower in these areas, the local police were the foot-soldiers of the Holocaust in the east.
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ignore the One-Star Reviews: They DID NOT READ the Book!
This is a superbly researched account of the efforts by non-German perpetrators who helped to carry out the murder of the helpless Jewish men, women and children of Byelorussia and the Ukraine after the invasion by Hitler's army in June 1941. Dean is a reseach scholar at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Thus he has unrivalled access to visual and documentary sources. His work has been used by eminent historians (including Robert Wistrich in his recent book, HITLER AND THE HOLOCAUST). (...)

1-0 out of 5 stars Accusations not backed up with documentation
Dean makes very specific accusations in the very subtitle of this book, yet he provides no documentation to back his assertions. I expect more from a scholar. ... Read more

12. Belarus: A Denationalized Nation (Postcommunist States and Nations)
by David Marples
list price: $114.95
our price: $114.95
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Asin: 9057023423
Catlog: Book (1999-02-01)
Publisher: Harwood Academic Pub
Sales Rank: 2802742
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Book Description

In any assessment and understanding of Belarus, the key questions to address include: Why has Belarus apparently rejected independence under its first president, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, and sought a union with Russia? Why has the government rejected democracy, infringed on the human rights of its citizens and fundamentally altered its constitution in favor of presidential authority? Has the country made any progress toward market reforms? How have Russia and the West responded to the actions of Belarus? And what is the future likely to hold for its ten million citizens? The author's conclusions are optimistic. Belarus, he believes, will survive into the twenty-first century, but as a Eurasian rather than a European state. ... Read more

13. The Belarus Secret: The Nazi Connection in America
by John Loftus
list price: $12.95
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Asin: 1557781389
Catlog: Book (1989-01-01)
Publisher: Paragon House Publishers
Sales Rank: 1139104
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Distortion of the facts
This is a damaging book that contains lots of distortions and misconceptions. ...the other hand, accusations, particularly when levelled against a whole nation, must be supported by evidence. It is clear that Loftus has not yet learned how to collect that evidence, and has insufficient linguistic and historical knowledge to deal with source material."<...

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and Eye Opening
An outstanding book and eye opening - how evil can walk among us un-noticed. This is a lesson many of us learned after Sept 11 -- how the next door friend can be a fiend in disguise. Readers of this book could have learned that lesson long ago. ... Read more

14. Belarus: President Alexander Lukashenko Handbook (World Political Leaders Library)
by Intl Business Pubns USA
list price: $99.95
our price: $99.95
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Asin: 0739710737
Catlog: Book (2004-06-01)
Publisher: International Business Publications, USA
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15. Of Mermaids and Rock Singers: Placing the Self and Constructing the Nation THrough Belarusan Contemporary Music (Current Research in Ethnomusicology: Outstanding Dissertations)
by Maria Paula Survilla
list price: $75.95
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Asin: 0415940141
Catlog: Book (2002-07)
Publisher: Routledge
Sales Rank: 1928355
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16. Belarusan national identity as an aspect of conscientious objection in interwar Poland. : An article from: East European Quarterly
by Peter Brock
list price: $5.95
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Asin: B00093RXK8
Catlog: Book
Manufacturer: East European Quarterly
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Book Description

This digital document is an article from East European Quarterly, published by East European Quarterly on September 22, 1995. The length of the article is 7666 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Digital Locker immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.

From the supplier: A significant pacifist movement developed in the northeastern region of Poland during the interwar period. This region was populated by the country's Belarusan ethnic minority. The region was once part of the Russian Empire and became part of the revived Polish state under the peace negotiations of World War I. The Belorusans rejected military service to the Polish state because of their ethnic identity and also because their region was economically and socially disadvantaged. This economic and social backwardness resulted in a feeling of apartness from the Polish state among the Belorusans.

Citation Details
Title: Belarusan national identity as an aspect of conscientious objection in interwar Poland.
Author: Peter Brock
Publication: East European Quarterly (Refereed)
Date: September 22, 1995
Publisher: East European Quarterly
Volume: v29Issue: n3Page: p285(8)

Distributed by Thomson Gale
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17. Archives and Manuscript Repositories in the USSR: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Belorussia (Harvard Ukrainian series)
by Patricia Kennedy Grimsted
list price: $187.50
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Asin: 0691052794
Catlog: Book (1981-09-01)
Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr
Sales Rank: 3252098
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18. Jews of Bielorussia During World War II
by Shalom Cholawsky
list price: $88.95
our price: $88.95
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Asin: 9057021935
Catlog: Book (1997-11-01)
Publisher: Harwood Academic Pub
Sales Rank: 1636010
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19. Belarus Investment and Business Guide
by Ibp USA
list price: $99.95
our price: $99.95
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Asin: 0739792113
Catlog: Book (2003-02-01)
Publisher: International Business Publications, USA
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20. Contemporary Belarus: Between Democracy and Dictatorship
by Elena Korosteleva, Colin W. Lawson, Rosalind J. Marsh, Rosalind Marsh, Colin Lawson
list price: $114.95
our price: $114.95
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Asin: 0700716130
Catlog: Book (2002-12)
Publisher: RoutledgeCurzon
Sales Rank: 251857
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book provides a thorough overview of current developments in Belarus. It looks at historical, political, economic and social changes, and at international relations, especially relations with Russian and the European Union. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Contribution!!!!!
This book fills an obvious gap in contemporary east-European political literature. Unlike other books on Belarus, the strong point this book has is that is written primarily by young Belarusian scholars who have studied both within Belarus and in the west and thus gives a far more even account of the true nature of this interesting nation.

This book is required reading for any serious scholar of east European politics, economics, culture or society. ... Read more

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