Cover of the book 'Russka' by Edward Rutherfurd.

The Ukraine goes Russian

In 1648, the Ukraine rises against its oppressor Poland. The Ukraine, the granary of Europe, has been squeezed dry by largely absent Polish landlords who conduct their business through local Jewish agents. The people’s recources are taken from them in ever larger amounts and brought to the heretic – i.e. not adhering to Orthodox Christian beliefs – West.

The Cossack people take up arms against Poland and gain an overwhelming victory. When they march home triumphantly, they massacre the few Polish and the many Jewish people they come across. This establishes the tradition of pogroms: the Jewish derive their bad name from their good position in 17th century Poland.

After the defeat of Poland, a delegation is sent from the Ukraine to Moscow to ask the powerful Tsar for protection. The Ukraine and Russia are fraternal nations: they speak related languages and follow the same religion. The Tsar gives his word and the prosperous, liberated Ukraine becomes a part of backward Russia, where farmers are no better off than slaves and the people are kept illiterate and uneducated.

This is the story Edward Rutherfurd tells in his novel Russka. He describes the trials and tribulations of a number of families from the Ukraine and Russia from 180 AD up to 1990. His main characters are from various social backgrounds, which really sheds light on how daily life is affected by the influence of political decisions and social shifts.

Edward Rutherfurd applies the same formula to England and Ireland. A vivid way of recounting history, which goes deeper than just wars, kings, and discoveries.

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o93FyrpUKf (07-12-2016 14:13):
Short, sweet, to the point, FRtaEex-cEly as information should be!

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