Book Release: Trevor Erlacher's Intellectual Biography of Dontsov

March 16, 2021
Mockup of Erlacher book cover

Cover of Erlacher book

HURI is pleased to announce the release of its latest publication, Ukrainian Nationalism in the Age of Extremes: An Intellectual Biography of Dmytro Dontsov by Trevor Erlacher.

Now available for purchase via the HURI Books website, the book is an extensive and meticulous study of Dontsov's life and thought. 

Perhaps the most influential Ukrainian thinker of the twentieth century, Dmytro Dontsov underwent an ideological evolution that highlighted the trends common for much of East-Central Europe. An unorthodox Marxist early on, he became the principal ideologue of interwar radical nationalism, then turned religious and conservative as an émigré in North America. It is impossible to understand Ukrainian nationalism without Dontsov, even if his flirtations with fascism represented a dead end that was the opposite of the civic version of national identity embraced by post-Soviet, independent Ukraine. A tour-de-force of intellectual history, Trevor Erlacher’s book is a must for any person interested in Ukraine and its diaspora, as well as in the radical right of interwar Europe.

Serhy Yekelchyk
Professor of history, University of Victoria,
Author of Ukraine: What Everyone Needs to Know

Explore the book

Book Description

Top down image of Erlacher bookUkrainian nationalism made worldwide news after the Euromaidan revolution and the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian war in 2014. Invoked by regional actors and international commentators, the “integral” Ukrainian nationalism of the 1930s has moved to the center of debates about Eastern Europe, but the history of this divisive ideology remains poorly understood.

This timely book by Trevor Erlacher is the first English-language biography of the doctrine’s founder, Dmytro Dontsov (1883–1973), the “spiritual father” of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. Organizing his research of the period around Dontsov’s life, Erlacher has written a global intellectual history of Ukrainian integral nationalism from late imperial Russia to postwar North America, with relevance for every student of the history of modern Europe and the diaspora.

Thanks to the circumstances of Dontsov’s itinerant, ninety-year life, this microhistorical approach allows for a geographically, chronologically, and thematically broad yet personal view on the topic. Dontsov shaped and embodied Ukrainian politics and culture as a journalist, diplomat, literary critic, publicist, and ideologue, progressing from heterodox Marxism, to avant-garde fascism, to theocratic traditionalism.

Drawing upon archival research in Ukraine, Poland, and Canada, this book contextualizes Dontsov’s works, activities, and identity formation diachronically, reconstructing the cultural, political, urban, and intellectual milieus within which he developed and disseminated his worldview.

$84.00 • £67.95 • €75.50
ISBN 9780674250932
654 pages

Publication of this book has been made possible by the generous support of the Jurij and Oksana Lyczkowskyj Fund in Ukrainian Studies at Harvard University.

About the Author

Trevor Erlacher is an academic advisor at the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, University of Pittsburgh, and editor and program coordinator at the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies.