Archives de catégorie : History


A prominent foreignpolicy analyst details the power centers that shape modern Ukraine.

From Independence to the War with Russia
by Adrian Karatnycky
Yale University Press, June 2024
(via Liza Dawson Associates)

The first major English-language history of Ukraine from its emergence after the demise of the Soviet Union through the current Russian invasion.

In 1991, after seventy years of imperial Soviet rule, Ukraine became an independent country. Since 2022, it has been fighting for its survival by resisting an unprovoked, brutal, and ongoing invasion by Russia. At the center of its resistance is the resilience of a united people.

Adrian Karatnycky tells the history of how the Ukrainian state and nation gradually emerged through the tenures of the six presidents who have led Ukraine since the collapse of the USSR, including Volodymyr Zelensky, elected in 2019.

Karatnycky shows that despite the influence of corrupt oligarchs, pressures from Russia, and the legacies of Soviet rule, a disparate but inclusive Ukrainian nation has emerged that inspires the world as it defends the principle that states have the right to their national sovereignty.

Ukraine’s battle is our battle, so understanding its post-independence history is vital if the battle is to be won. Adrian Karatnycky has done an outstanding job of telling that story, warts and all.” –Bill Emmott, former editor in chief, The Economist, and Chairman, International Institute for Strategic Studies

An indispensable history of contemporary Ukraine by a writer who is himself one of the builders of contemporary Ukraine. The point of view is intimate. The insights are astute. The sympathy extends to all who labored, fought, and sacrificed for a liberal, democratic, and European Ukraine.” –David Frum, the Atlantic

Adrian Karatnycky has a knowledge of Ukraine that comes not only with reading history but also with making it. A participant in many key events in Ukraine’s recent past, in this important book, he provides unique insights into the rise of independent Ukraine and explains why the country and its people keep fighting when others gave up.” –Serhii Plokhy, Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History, Harvard University

Truly invaluable. Adrian Karatnycky’s knowledge of and personal feel for Ukraine— its leaders and its people—come through on every page. Want to make yourself an expert on the problem that will define Europe’s future for decades to come? Read this book!” –Stephen Sestanovich, Davis Professor of International Affairs, Columbia University, Former US Ambassador-at-Large to the Newly Independent States of the Former USSR

Adrian Karatnycky is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. Through the council’s Ukraine program, as a labor union official, and as CEO of Freedom House, he has been deeply engaged in Ukraine for over three decades. He has written about Ukraine for leading newspapers and journals.


From the bestselling author of The Clockwork Universe and The Writing of the Gods, a historical adventure story about the eccentric Victorians who discovered dinosaur bones, leading to a whole new understanding of human history.

How An Eccentric Group of Victorians Discovered Prehistoric Creatures and Accidentally Upended The World
by Edward Dolnick
Scribner, August 2024
(via Sterling Lord Literistic)

In the early 1800s the world was a safe and cozy place. But then a twelve-year-old farm boy in Massachusetts stumbled on a row of fossilized three-toed footprints the size of dinner plates—the first dinosaur tracks ever found. Soon, in England, Victorians unearthed enormous bones—bones that reached as high as a man’s head. Outside of myths and fairy tales, no one had even imagined that creatures like three-toed giants had once lumbered across the land. And if anyone had somehow conjured up such a scene, they would never have imagined that all those animals could have vanished, hundreds of millions years ago. The thought of sudden, arbitrary disappearance from life was unnerving and forced the Victorians to rethink everything they knew about the world.

In DINOSAURS AT THE DINNER PARTY, celebrated storyteller and historian Edward Dolnick leads us through a compelling true adventure as the paleontologists of the first half of the 19th century puzzled their way through the fossil record to create the story of dinosaurs we know today. The tale begins with Mary Anning, a poor, uneducated woman who had a sixth sense for finding fossils buried deep inside cliffs; and moves to a brilliant, eccentric geologist named William Buckland, a kind of Doctor Doolittle on a mission to eat his way through the entire animal kingdom; and then on to Richard Owen, the most respected and the most despised scientist of his generation.

Entertaining, erudite, and featuring an unconventional cast of characters, DINOSAURS AT THE DINNER PARTY tells the story of how the accidental discovery of prehistoric creatures upended humanity’s understanding of the world and their place in it, and how a group of paleontologists worked to bring it back into focus again.

Edward Dolnick is the author of The Writing of the Gods, The Clockwork Universe, The Forger’s Spell, and the Edgar Award–winning The Rescue Artist, among other books. A former chief science writer at The Boston Globe, he has written for The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, and many other publications. He lives with his wife near Washington, DC.

BEKLAUTE FRAUEN de Leonie Schöler

How women made history – and men took the credit.

(Stolen Fame: Philosophers, Scholars, Pioneers: History’s Invisible Heroines)
by Leonie Schöler
Penguin, February 2024

Muse, secretary, wife: these are some of the labels used to describe the women whose influence on history has been erased. Their achievements have brought honour and fame to the men close to them – such as Karl Marx, Bertolt Brecht and Albert Einstein, who couldn’t have done what they did without their female friends, daughters or lovers – but they themselves remain largely unknown. The list includes scientists like Rosalind Franklin and Lise Meitner, who, unlike their male colleagues, were never celebrated for their discoveries; and authors and artists like Marie Hirsch, Lou Andreas-Salomé and Hedwig Thun, who hid behind male pseudonyms all their lives in order to be taken seriously. In « Stolen Fame », Schöler tells their stories, introducing us to the women who changed human history and showing that there are still issues around participation and visibility. Behind every successful man is a system that empowers him – and that system stands in every woman’s way.

For fans of Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez, Unlearn Patriarchy by Lisa Jaspers et al., The Patriarchy of Thing » by Rebekka Endler and Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly.

Leonie Schöler is a historian, journalist and presenter. Her articles have been published in taz and Zeit Online, and she also works as an editor and online filmmaker (« Jäger und Sammler », « Y-Kollektiv » and « Auf Klo ») for various broadcasters. Her documentary exposing fraud and money laundering at Germany’s largest meat processing company came out in 2021, and she is the author and director of a 2022 online series about the infamous Wannsee Conference (both shown by ZDF). She produces popular history content for TikTok and Instagram and talks to her more than 170k followers about politics past and present. In 2022, she became presenter of ZDF’s Heureka programme (shown on YouTube).

TRANS TIME TRAVEL de Thomas Page McBee

Thomas Page McBee defines the concept of “trans time,” and how the trans experience can be a torch into the future for all of us.

A Mind-Bending Journey Across Continents, Centuries, and Dimensions
by Thomas Page McBee
Scribner, TBD
(via Levine Greenberg Rostan)

© A KlassThomas Page McBee is at 42, he writes, one of the oldest trans people he knows, an “elder,”—and he’s also 12, “a man without a boyhood, alive at the end of the world.”  Time is linear, but it’s also cyclical. This moment, with its fever-pitch of anti-trans rhetoric, a broken political system, not to mention climate change, can feel like the end of the world—as have other moments in our history.  And yet, as Thomas writes, “the future is already here.” The seeds of what is to come already exist. We need to be asking different and better questions.

This books takes us through time and space and through the ideas that Thomas finds himself obsessed with: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; queer history of the American West; the story of Brandon Teena, subject of the film “Boys Don’t Cry” and the first trans person Thomas ever heard of; how the media, the medical system, the prison system, the archives have all told trans stories.

Thomas Page McBees TV and screenwriting career has been enormously successful, with several collaborations with Elliott Page and others, including for an adaptation on Amateur that HBO has momentum behind. He’s been praised by some of the most iconic writers of our generation, from Roxane Gay to Maggie Nelson.  His work as a journalist is highly sought after, from the current piece on Mary Shelley he’s writing for Travel and Leisure to a T Magazine feature commissioned by Hanya Yanagihara.


The thrilling true story of Agent A12, the first enemy of the Nazis.

The Untold Story of Agent A12 and the Solving of the Holocaust Code
by Jason Bell
Pegasus Books, May 2024
(via Vertical Ink)

The thrilling true story of Agent A12, the first enemy of the Nazis In public life, Dr. Winthrop Picard Bell was a Harvard philosophy professor and wealthy businessman. As MI6 Secret Agent A12, he evaded gunfire and shook pursuers to break open the emerging Nazi conspiracy in electrifying 1919 Berlin. His reports, the first warning of the Nazi plot for WWII, went directly to the man known as C, the mysterious founder of MI6, and to prime ministers. But a powerful fascist politician quietly worked to suppress his alerts. Nevertheless, his intelligence sabotaged the Nazis in ways only now revealed. Bell became a spy once again in the face of WWII. In 1939, he was the first to crack Hitler’s deadliest secret code: the Holocaust. At that time the Führer was a popular politician who said he wanted peace. Could anyone believe Bell’s shocking warning? Fighting an epic intelligence war from Ukraine, Russia, and Poland to France, Germany, Canada and Washington, D.C., A12 was the real-life 007, waging a single-handed fight against madmen bent on destroying the world. Without Bell’s astounding courage, the Nazis might just have won the war.

CRACKING THE NAZI CODE, informed by recently declassified documents, is the first book to illuminate the astounding exploits of Winthrop Bell, Agent A12.

Jason Bell, Ph.D. is a professor of philosophy at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. He has served as Fulbright Professor in Germany (at Göttingen, Winthrop Bell’s alma mater), and has taught at universities in Belgium, the United States, and Canada. He was the first scholar granted exclusive access to Winthrop Pickard Bell’s classified espionage papers.