It pains me to say anything negative about this book by a Harvard scholar of Ukrainian history. But having finally read The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine, by Serhii Plokhy, I must express some criticism. Praise for the book is evident because it provides a necessary review of the history of what became Ukraine over two thousand years. Yet the author never quite resolved the question whether the book was to be entirely scholarly or entirely for the general reader. He does both and thereby fails to some extent. The content is confusing, difficult, useful to be sure, very sure, but hard to follow as some lines are very much that of a scholar writing for scholars and other lines are generalizations for the ordinary reader. The author is very fair when dealing with some embarrassing events in Ukraine, much fairer than even I expected, but the book will never be widely read, I am afraid.

Norman Ravitch *62
Savannah, Ga.