Ivan Mazepa (1639-1709), hetman of the Zaporozhian Host in what is now Ukraine, is a controversial figure, famous for abandoning his allegiance to Tsar Peter I and joining Charles XII's Swedish army during the Battle of Poltava. Although he is discussed in almost every survey and major book on Russian and Ukrainian history, Ivan Mazepa and the Russian Empire is the first English-language biography of the hetman in sixty years. A translation and revision of Tatiana Tairova-Yakovleva's 2007 Russian-language book, Ivan Mazepa and the Russian Empire presents an updated perspective. This account is based on many new sources, including Mazepa's archive - thought lost for centuries before it was rediscovered by the author in 2004 - and post-Soviet Russian and Ukrainian historiography. Focusing on this fresh material, Tairova-Yakovleva delivers a more nuanced and balanced account of the polarizing figure who has been simultaneously demonized in Russia as a traitor and revered in Ukraine as the defender of independence. Chapters on economic reform, Mazepa's impact on the rise to power of Peter I, his cultural achievements, and the reasons he switched his allegiance from Peter to Charles integrate a larger array of issues and personalities than have previously been explored. Setting a standard for the next generation of historians, Ivan Mazepa and the Russian Empire reveals an original picture of the Hetmanate during a moment of critical importance for the Russian Empire and Ukraine.
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Number of pages: 440
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
"Tatiana Tairova-Yakovleva brings the early modern hetman alive, removing numerous layers of mythology, good and bad, and placing him in the context of his uneasy relationship and conflict with the Russian Empire and its tsar, turned emperor, Peter I. Ivan Mazepa and the Russian Empire is a pleasure to read and highly recommended." Serhii Plokhy, Harvard University and author of The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine
"In this remarkable archival-based study of the political, social, and cultural dynamics of Hetman Ivan Mazepa's rule in Ukraine (1687-1709), Tatiana Tairova-Yakovleva strips away the stereotypical tropes of Mazepa as a traitor to Russia or national hero of Ukraine ... . By dismantling the cliches and myths that have obscured the realities of this complex history, this book is a valuable addition to both Russian and Ukrainian history. For anyone interested in this or any period of Russian/Ukrainian relations, it should be essential reading." Slavic Review