As soon as the war broke out in Ukraine, we realized that we should learn more about this fascinating country, which is now experiencing a tragedy.
At Lexicon, we have compiled a list of books that our customers can order. You can find the list at this link. We allocate 40% of the income from the sale of these books to help Ukraine. So far, we have obtained hundreds of dollars for our eastern neighbours. We still want to help in this way: by spreading knowledge about Polish-Ukrainian relations and sharing the income for the books you have purchased.
Note: the authors wrote the following books before the war started in February 2022. Therefore, some descriptions have become obsolete. Of course, it is worth reading the following books to learn more about a country whose fate is now worried about the world. Here are descriptions of some of the books on the list.
Regions of Central and Eastern Europe are an area of an intense clash, mixing and penetration. They are under the geopolitical and cultural influences of the West and the Russian Federation. Therefore, one can characterize them by high political dynamics understood as a category of international relations for a long time to come.
2. “Krym, Donieck, Ługańsk 2014-2015″ by Michał Klimecki
The subject of the volume is the conflict in eastern Ukraine that started seven years ago and continues – partially frozen – to this day. It all began in February 2014, when pro-Russian President Yanukovych fled the country under the influence of a protest in Kyiv’s Maidan. Demonstrations outburst in eastern Ukraine. In majority, Russian-speaking people inhabit this region. Russia took advantage of this confusion and invaded Crimea to annex it later. In turn, in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, fights broke out with separatists armed and supported by Russia, who created the so-called people’s republics recognized only by Moscow. The first phase of the conflict ended under pressure from the West. Russia signed the ceasefire agreement on September 5, 2014. It is crucial to read this book if you want to understand the present actions of the Russians.
3. “Operacja Ukraina” by Michał Marek
The book describes how Russian disinformation centres operate, indicating the main directions of the Russian Federation’s activity in the information war against the Ukrainian state. Based on the available monographs and analyses of the topic, the author discusses examples of disinformation campaigns and narratives that seem to play a crucial role in operations carried out by the Russian Federation. The author discusses the mechanisms used to popularize disinformation content and manipulate reality.
He analyzes materials published on websites and observes the complexity of the disinformation process. The disinformation takes place in media and physical space. The author presents many examples of such practices.
The monograph will be of interest to experts and academics dealing with the subject of Polish-Ukrainian relations, experts dealing with the subject of disinformation and journalists dealing with the issues of Ukraine.
4. Marek Melnyk “Polacy i Ukraińcy. Komunikacja – dialog – pojednanie” The authors organize, analyze and understand the dialogical, conciliatory dimension of the Polish-Ukrainian neighbourhood. They present documents and activities of a religious nature, devoted to dialogue and reconciliation of both nations; an indication of the most meaningful mass events, such as prayer meetings, solemn celebrations of the Eucharist in the Latin and Greek Catholic rites, pilgrimages to places “significant” for both nations of a religious nature. The authors verify the assumption that contemporary Polish-Ukrainian reconciliation is a continuation of earlier processes, inspired by religion, and not only an isolated media and political phenomenon of the second half of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, related to the pragmatic interests of both nations and states. To this end, they make a multi-faceted look into the “past” of Polish-Ukrainian dialogue. The authors hope that the research problem will contribute to the improvement of the already developed model of reconciliation between the two nations, which, as in the case of Polish-German relations, began with a letter from Polish bishops to German bishops in 1966, bringing the forgiveness of evangelical sins.
5. “Chłopak z pianinem. O sztuce i wojnie na Ukrainie” by Ewa Sułek
Protests that turned into a revolution known as the EuroMaidan happened between November 2013 and February 2014.
From the very beginning, artistic activities accompanied those protests. Over time they evolved into an aesthetic, political, social and personal message. The art has become an individual expression of resistance to Russia, a medium that builds the image of the revolution and the protesters themselves, an attempt to find their status, and a way to fight the overwhelming pessimism.
Ewa Sułek successfully introduces the Polish reader to Ukrainian art, which is still virtually unknown to Poles, despite its geographical proximity and cultural and historical ties between Poland and Ukraine. Through art, she shows phenomena and currents of thought that are important to Ukrainians today and allow them to understand the social and political moods prevailing in this society.
So far, the scholars have presented the war in Ukraine from the military and political points of view. However, each conflict brings with it not only political but also cultural changes, expressed in artistic activity. Art and culture reflect social attitudes. Therefore, by observing creative activities, we can learn a lot about the awareness of Ukrainian society at a time of enormous changes concerning the essence of the Soviet man. Many commentators of the revolution emphasized this change, which was the first sign that civil society was being born in Ukraine.
The text, which is a mixture of popular science literature with reportage, draws attention to the maturity of the view, technical efficiency and a bold look at the reality that accompanies the work and life of artists. The original and varied literary form also includes a combination of verbal and written messages, sensational and substantive messages, and the use of more than one type of narrative.
6. “Społeczeństwo i gospodarka w czasie pandemii Covid 19” edited by Jurij Kariagin and Zdzisław Sirojć
The publication consists of 22 papers by various authors from well-known scientific institutions and universities in Ukraine. Their content concerns, i.a., the situation in selected branches of the Ukrainian economy during the COVID-19 pandemic and activity in other spheres of social life, including culture, education, health care, as well as in such areas as quality of life, social investments, and psychological aspects of fighting the pandemic.
7. “Imigranci z Ukrainy w Polsce” edited by Michał Lubicz Miszewski
The publication is interdisciplinary. Its main goal is to present the challenges to security that result from the mass influx of Ukrainian citizens to Poland after the so-called “revolution of dignity” in Ukraine at the turn of 2013 and 2014. The first part of the volume includes five articles about stereotypes about immigrants from Ukraine and their image in the Polish media. Nataliia Nedobiichuk presents the broad historical and psychological context of shaping Polish-Ukrainian stereotypes. Krzysztof Jurek attempts to reconstruct the stereotypes existing in Poland about Ukrainians. Renata Rozbicka concerns the image of Ukrainians coming to Poland in three national opinion-forming weeklies (“Do Rzeczy”, “Newsweek Polska” and “Tygodnik Powszechny”). Paweł Terpiłowski introduces the media message about the presence of Ukrainians in Poland. Grzegorz Tokarz presents the Russian point of view on the emigration of Ukrainian citizens to Poland. The second part of the volume is related to the title challenges to state security resulting from the influx of Ukrainian citizens to Poland.
8. “Literackie topografie Lwowa” by Zoriana Czajkowska
The monograph is devoted to the literary image of Lviv. It combines a new perspective on the borderland of cultures. Here, the key issues are cultural and historical memory in the melting pot of memories, reading and maintaining memory, and the rehabilitation of what was concealed or forbidden. The author analyzed selected Polish, Ukrainian and Russian literary texts written in the 20th and 21st centuries.
She attempted to capture general discourses about Lviv and its myths. She analyzed how Polish, Ukrainian and Russian authors perceive this exceptional space. The publication also investigates the problem of “strangeness” and (or) “otherness” and its reflections in literary texts.
9. “Wspomnienia kresowego organisty” by Eugeniusz Swarcewicz
The memories of Eugeniusz Swarcewicz, a longtime organist, first in Belarus and then in Ukraine, are an exception. Here are the records of a Pole, a lay Catholic, involved in the life of the Catholic Church in the USSR. As a result of Soviet repressions, the Catholic intelligentsia ceased to exist after World War II in the entire territory of the Soviet Union. However, there was always a hidden religious life, also to some extent intellectual, and above all, prayer. Memories written by Swarcewicz are an exceptional testimony of such practices.
10. “Ukrainki” by Monika Sobień-Górska
They clean our houses, look after our children, and are waitresses, saleswomen, and hairdressers. They are watching us, the Polish people.
Although, as they emphasize, they “only” clean, they have access to our intimate spheres of life, our refrigerators, bedrooms and children’s rooms. They know how much we drink, how much we reveal, and how we spend our money. They see what we are like when we can feel better because we employ a person from a poorer country.
What are Poles like through the eyes of Ukrainian women? Based on interviews with several dozen of them, an author created a portrait of the Polish middle class. We will learn a lot about ourselves at times. It can be unpleasant, at times funny and at times quite pleasant.
11. “Od konfliktów do rzezi. Polacy i Ukraińcy na kresach II Rzeczypospolitej” by Renata Pomarańska
The subject of the former borderlands of the Republic of Poland has many associations nowadays. The memory of a sharp conflict with the hallmarks of a civil war dominates, accompanied by simply inhuman crimes. In this monograph, the author looks for the causes of borderland disputes, which often grew into genocide. The book combines the impacts of research in sociology, political science, international relations and history. Therefore, it is a part of the currently valued interdisciplinary research.
“The undeniable advantage of the book is its innovative approach to social conflict about the borderland reality and taking into account scientific theories. They can help explain social phenomena that have occurred in the Borderlands for centuries in a way that belongs only to them” – Lesław H. Haber.
12. “Obraz polskiego ziemiaństwa na Wołyniu, Podolu i Ukrainie na przełomie XVIII i XIX wieku”by Tomasz Kargol and Krzysztof Ślusarek
Pruszyński’s authentic correspondence presents the world of notaries, chamberlains, counts and princes, border and property disputes, noble self-government and the Russian military.
The purpose of Pruszyński’s writing letters was to inform Fr. Hieronim Sanguszko about the situation in his estates in the Russian and Austrian partitions. The sender also writes about the economic and political issues, weather, and rumours about the life of the Polish gentry and aristocracy.
13. “Konkultura” by Anna Jawor, Urszula Markowska-Manista, Marta J. Pietrusińska
“The book is a unique insight into the parallel cultural practices of Ukrainian students living in Warsaw – simultaneous participation in Polish high culture and Ukrainian popular culture” – from the review of Dr Barbara Pasamonik.
14. “Ukraina. Wzajemne spojrzenia “
This extraordinary album joins two countries through works of art – Poland and Ukraine. It is a must-have album for lovers of art and history.
The art of painting represents the interpenetration of beautiful and complex history of two neighbouring countries. The album includes as many as 75 works by 57 artists. These are only Polish and Ukrainian artists who are witnesses of the bloody and unfair past of these nations. The artists presented political and social-historical events uniquely and authentically (e.g. the experience of the war in Donbas or the Revolution of Dignity).
“Ukraina. Wzajemne spojrzenia” is a work that sensitizes and raises awareness, as it touches upon the motives rooted in Polish and Ukrainian culture, which today we do not read in isolation. It turns out that symbols important in Polish culture and literature are not so distant from Ukrainian ones. The oldest works included in the album come from the 18th century. However, most of them are canons of contemporary art. The Ukrainian artists’ works are directly juxtaposed with Polish ones and correlate with them.
15. “Opowiadania i krajobrazy” by Zenon Fisz
As Marek Nalepa, the author of the extensive introduction writes, Fisz’s Ukraine is an experienced reality, tangible in every detail. It reflects on its turbulent history, observes interpersonal relations in a multiethnic society and the beauty of the landscape.
“In his writing, Fisz started from a basic premise, a bit existential and methodical. He emphasized that you need to experience Ukraine, rub your skin and thoughts against it, connect with its spirit, and not trust both writers and geographers and authors of guides. You have to go to Ukraine to see that the realism, disorder and chaos would overshadow the colours, and vice versa, that demonized people would become average, dreary landscapes would be cheerful, and great evil less contradictory.
Fisz’s Ukraine is always different, or a bit different from any points and planes of reference, especially the declarative ones. It takes a lot of strength and youthful resilience to face its beauty and penetrate its spirit”, comments Marek Nalepa.