The Ukrainian National Movement in Galicia: 1815-1849

Description

498 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
$29.95
ISBN 0-920862-40-3

Author

Year

1986

Contributor

Edited by Lawrence D. Orton
Translated by Andrew Gorski and Lawrence D. Orton
Reviewed by Hans B. Neumann

Hans B. Neumann is a history lecturer at Scarborough College, University
of Toronto.

Review

The untimely death of Polish historian Jan Kozik at the age of forty-five deprived historical scholarship in Ukrainian studies of one of its leading experts in his area of specialty: the Western Ukraine (Galicia). This book hence represents in a sense his legacy to the English-speaking world. As presented in this form, this book is an abridged translation from Kozik’s native Polish of two of his major works (first published in 1973 and 1975 respectively) dealing with the same topic: the origins of the Ukrainian nationalist movement in Galicia during the early nineteenth century (when Galicia was a part of the Austrian Habsburg Empire).

The scholar conversant in the Slavic languages of this region may happily note that much of the academic apparatus has been retained in the translation: proof are sixty-seven pages of endnotes and a twenty-page bibliography. Included as well is a brief, useful appendix of prominent Galician Ukrainians and Galician place names in both Polish and Ukrainian orthography. The text is preceded by a brief introduction by the editor and co-translator L.D. Orton; it provides a cogent summary of the basic framework of events that surround the text, as well as a brief biography of Jan Kozik.

What follows is a skillful portrayal through the ethnic, political, social, and cultural minefield of Galicia (in which approximately 15% of the total number of ethnic Ukrainians lived before World War I). From its inception in the 1830s and 1840s, the Ukrainian national movement in Galicia — as the text clearly shows — began as a limited cultural awareness movement devoted largely to issues such as language, literature, and history. Only with the upheavals of 1848 did the movement become more openly political — without much initial success. This phase of the movement is only briefly discussed in the conclusion where Kozik rightly emphasizes the 1848 events as a watershed leading to the “political awakening” of Galician Ukrainians. The bulk of the text basically treats cultural developments within the Ukrainian intelligentsia of Galicia during roughly the first half of the nineteenth century.

The reader finishes this book full of admiration for Kozik’s breadth of scholarship as well as for the formidable linguistic skills he developed to master the polyglot source material of this region. The reader must feel sympathy for the tortured situation of the Ukrainian community in Galicia, torn as it was between conflicting political centers of power in this volatile area of Eastern Europe.

The book represents a major addition, and one of the few available in English, to the exploration of the roots of the Ukrainian national movement in Galicia. To all but the truly serious and/or specialist reader, this work represents a daunting, if not overwhelming, foray into the many-hued cauldron that boiled beneath the glittering panoply of Eastern European Empires in the nineteenth century.

Citation

Kozik, Jan, “The Ukrainian National Movement in Galicia: 1815-1849,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/35295.