The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuana, Belarus, 1569-1999

Timothy Snyder

The Reconstruction of Nations:
Poland, Ukraine, Lithuana, Belarus, 1569-1999

· Winner 2004 American Association for Ukrainian Studies Book Award
· Winner 2003 George Louis Beer Prize of the American Historical Association
· Winner 2003 Eastern Review Prize

In this fascinating book, Timothy Snyder traces the emergence of Polish, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, and Belarusian nationhood over four centuries, discusses various atrocities (including the first account of the massive Ukrainian-Polish ethnic cleansings of the 1940s), and examines Poland’s recent successful negotiations with its newly independent Eastern neighbors, as it has channeled national interest toward peace.


“This book is a work of profound scholarship and considerable importance. It represents a highly original approach to a neglected area of Europe—but also has wider implications for all those interested in questions of nationalism and state-building.”
- Timothy Garton Ash, author of The Polish Revolution

“The Reconstruction of Nations is a brilliant and fascinating analysis of the subtleties, complexities, and paradoxes of the evolution of nations in Eastern Europe. Snyder highlights the success of contemporary leaders of Poland in bringing an end to the centuries of war, conquest, and ethnic cleansing, which have plagued that part of the world. His study 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, Chairman, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies

“A valuable study of how the four nations of the subtitle have arisen, how ethnic cleansing has shaped their histories, and how they now try to make regional peace. Effective charts, well-chosen illustrations, and helpful maps ensure the accessibility of the volume to a wide audience. Highly recommended.”
- Choice

“Charting the passages to nationhood and to national reconciliation in this impossibly complex region is the aim of Timothy Snyder’s erudite and engrossing book… . An illuminating historical essay… . This important book is also elegantly written.”
- Charles King, Times Literary Supplement

“An engaging, sophisticated, and highly readable study that we will be arguing with and against for many years to come… . An ambitious and sophisticated work deserving a broad readership… . Few works provide such a compelling portrait of the complexity of modern national identity, its greatness, and its crimes. For anyone interested in the ‘lands between’ Germany and Russia, ethnic relations, or the history of modern nationalism, this book is required reading.”
- Theodore R. Weeks, The Russian Review


Yale University Press, 2003