Book Recommendation: ‘The Gates of Europe’ by Serhii Plokhy

recommended by JOHN MAGGITTI, Co-owner, Novel Bay Booksellers

This 2015 New York Times–bestselling nonfiction book has seen a resurgence in both popularity and importance since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Author Serhii Plokhy gives us a balanced history lesson about this enigmatic part of Europe, walking us through the area’s history from 500 BCE until modern times.

Detailed without being textbookish, The Gates of Europe illuminates and informs the reader about both the people and the geography that have shaped modern Ukraine’s history. Plokhy has managed to give us more than 2,000 years’ worth of history in a single book, without glossing over any of the nodal events. It is a well constructed and engaging narrative.

The epilogue is a reward for reading all the way through. In it, Plokhy sums up the influences of history on the current conflict and provides a perspective on how self-identified ethnicity influences both Ukrainian and Russian perspectives of the ongoing conflict.

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