November 17 , 2009


A Portrait, 1800-1917


In a fascinating "urban biography," Michael Hamm tells the story of one of Europe's most diverse cities and its distinctive mix of Ukrainian, Polish, Russian, and Jewish inhabitants. A splendid urban center in medieval times, Kiev became a major metropolis in late Imperial Russia, and is now the capital of independent Ukraine. After a concise account of Kiev's early history, Hamm focuses on the city's dramatic growth in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The first historian to analyze how each of Kiev's ethnic groups contributed to the vitality of the city's culture, he also examines the violent conflicts that developed among them. In vivid detail, he shows why Kiev came to be known for its "abundance of revolutionaries" and its anti-Semitic violence.

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