Anti-Imperial Choice: The Making of the Ukrainian Jew

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This book is the first to explore the Jewish contribution to, and integration with, Ukrainian culture. Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern focuses on five writers and poets of Jewish descent whose literary activities span the 1880s to the 1990s. Unlike their East European contemporaries who disparaged the culture of Ukraine as second-rate, stateless, and colonial, these individuals embraced the Russian- and Soviet-dominated Ukrainian community, incorporating their Jewish concerns in their Ukrainian-language writings.The author argues that the marginality of these literati as Jews fuelled their sympathy toward Ukrainians and their national cause. Providing extensive historical background, biographical detail, and analysis of each writer s poetry and prose, Petrovsky-Shtern shows how a Ukrainian-Jewish literary tradition emerged. Along the way, he challenges assumptions about modern Jewish acculturation and Ukrainian-Jewish relations.