In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

humanities 123 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 one official language to the other, or translation sites like TransSearch (, which offers a bilingual concordancer based on a database of translations from the Canadian Hansard and decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada and other Canadian courts of justice. The one concession to the WWW (it gives URLs of product Web sites and online reviews) is the appendix on commercially available CAT tools, which is doomed to rapid obsolescence (products and prices change almost daily) and should have been put on the Web, not on paper. (RUSSON WOOLDRIDGE) Paul Robert Magocsi and Ivan Pop, editors. Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture University of Toronto Press. xii, 520. $95.00 Most Westerners have never heard about Carpathian Rus=, also known as Transcarpathian Ukraine or Subcarpathian Ruthenia, a region slightly smaller than Holland, historically inhabited by Carpatho-Rusyns and divided among Poland, Ukraine, Romania, and Slovakia. Even worse, people coming from this region are at times not sure about their own identity. Most certainly, they are neither Romanians nor Hungarians, but are they some sort of Poles, Slovaks, or Ukrainians, as many of their neighbours try to convince them? Have they always been there, in the central part of the Carpathian mountain ranges? Is their vernacular a language or just a dialect? Are they a separate nationality? Can they exist as such without their own state? Now most live in Ukraine, but before 1945 they had never belonged to any East Slavic or Ukrainian state. Is this what makes the Rusyns different? All these and many other questions are answered by the book under review, a magisterial work written by seventeen authors from various countries and edited by two experts on the subject. The first of them, Paul Robert Magocsi, has been holding the chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Toronto since 1980. He is a prolific author and an expert on Ukrainian history. Carpathian Rus= is an object of his fascination and almost lifelong study. There is no other person who would know more about this region than Magocsi. The second expert, Ivan Pop, a diplomatic historian of the twentieth century and a native of the Subcarpathian region, spent most of his scholarly career at Moscow=s Institute of Slavic and Balkan Studies of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. In 1992, he returned to his native land to pursue its history according to a Rusyn conception. Criticized by Ukrainian nationalists, he moved to the Czech Republic, where he continues his work. Magocsi and Pop wrote most of the entries together with a third author, Bogdan Horbal, a young Lemko historian educated in Poland and New 124 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 York. The Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture, the first major reference book in its field and a great scholarly achievement, has 1070 entries and 1400 cross references, covering a broad variety of topics. Most of these entries are not available anywhere else so that the book fills a gaping lacuna. Many entries include short bibliographies that are helpful for further study. The text is clearly written and presents a new interpretation of the history of Carpathian Rus=. It moves the Rusyns from the margins of history, where they have been put by most historical works on Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, or Slovakia, to the centre of historical events in the region. It shows Rusyns= achievements, vitality, and creativity but also their suffering and the unfair treatment they have frequently received from neighbouring peoples. The Encyclopedia has already provoked a fierce discussion among specialists in Ukrainian and Central European history. The Eighth Annual World Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities, held in New York in April 2003, devoted an entire session to the book. Reviews have appeared in several journals. Some reviewers question the basic terms and definitions used by the authors and claim that they do not explain quite clearly who is a Rusyn. Is, for example, a >Lemko partisan and political activist in Poland of Ukrainian national orientation= still a Rusyn? Why are the Hutsuls living...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 123-124
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.