Nahaylo, Bohdan

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ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o University of Toronto Press, Author Mail, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4Y 2W8.

CAREER: Writer. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Munich, Germany, assistant director of research; United Nations, New York, NY, senior advisor on C.I.S.


(With Victor Swoboda) Soviet Disunion: A History of the Nationalities Problem in the USSR, Free Press (New York, NY), 1990.

The Ukrainian Resurgence, University of Toronto Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1999.

SIDELIGHTS: Bohdan Nahaylo is a writer known for his insights into Soviet and Ukrainian issues. He collaborated with Victor Swoboda in writing Soviet Disunion: A History of the Nationalities Problem in the USSR, which analyzes conflicting interests among the various nationalities comprising the Soviet Union. Nancy Lubin, in a New York Times Book Review assessment, described the volume as "practically a dayby-day account of changes in Soviet nationalistic policy and national dissent for almost … [eighty] years," and she recommended it as "a highly detailed overview of the history of nationalities problems in the Soviet Union." While conceding that "important information has sometimes been overlooked," Lubin hailed Soviet Disunion as "an excellent, comprehensive resource on the events leading up to today's nationality standoff in the Soviet Union." Another critic, J. Arch Getty, wrote in the London Review of Books: "Bohdan Nahaylo and Victor Swoboda have written an ambitious book. They provide a detailed and richly documented history of the nationality question from ancient times to the end of 1989. … The book will be both profitable reading for interested non-specialists and a useful reference work for scholars. To write a book capable of serving such diverse audiences is in itself an achievement." Geoffrey Morris was somewhat less impressed. "The make-up and direction of the Soviet Union and its captive parts obviously have implications for the stability of the world and for relations among nations," he observed in National Review. "Soviet Disunion goes a long way in framing the complexities and outlining solutions, but falls short in its execution." Ernest Gellner, reviewing the book in New Republic, stated that Soviet Disunion "is packed with facts, and the number of footnotes supporting the assertions is impressive. Of course, the speed of current developments is liable to date the book rather quickly, but that is inevitable. Even if events overtake it, however, the information it contains will continue to be useful."

Nahaylo followed Soviet Disunion with The Ukrainian Resurgence, which charts events in the Ukraine after the region broke from the Soviet Union and declared statehood in 1991. Sarah Birch, while contending in Europe-Asia Studies that the book "does not engage in the main scholarly debates surrounding the role played by the Ukraine in the Soviet Union's collapse," conceded that it serves to "provide a basis on which other scholars can theorise and interpret contemporary developments in the Ukraine." Birch also noted that The Ukrainian Resurgence "fills a gap in the English-language literature on contemporary Ukrainian history." Reviewer Rosaria Puglisi described The Ukrainian Resurgence, in Survival, as "a comprehensive account" and a "richly detailed book." A writer in Ukrainian Weekly related that Nahaylo's book includes "a fascinating account of 1991's failed coup in Moscow." Reviewer Taras Kuzio prophesized in International Affairs that The Ukrainian Resurgence "will become an important source and textbook for a broad range of scholars, journalists, and those in the policy-making field." Further praise came from Choice reviewer L. K. D. Kristof, who deemed the book "must reading for anyone interested in the history and politics of Ukraine."



Choice, January, 2000, L. K. D. Kristof, review of The Ukrainian Resurgence, p. 1008.

Europe-Asia Studies, December, 1999, Sarah Birch, review of The Ukrainian Resurgence.

International Affairs, April, 1999, Taras Kuzio, review of The Ukrainian Resurgence, p. 434.

London Review of Books, August 30, 1990, J. Arch Getty, "All the Russias," pp. 10-13.

National Review, August 6, 1990, Geoffrey Morris, review of Soviet Disunion, p. 44.

New Republic, June 18, 1990, Ernest Gellner, review of Soviet Disunion.

New York Times Book Review, July 15, 1990, Nancy Lubin, "The Non-Russians Are Coming." p. 16.

Survival, winter 1999-2000, Rosaria Puglisi, review of The Ukrainian Resurgence, 183-185.


Ukrainian Weekly, (December 2, 2001), review of The Ukrainian Resurgence.*