Rare materials on Belarus are a potential treasure trove for the English language reader. A blank spot on the map for many, Belarus is an undiscovered mystery in the heart of Europe – undiscovered, because little has been published on the country’s history and current affairs, and the origin of the ethnic group that calls itself ‘Belarusians’. Author Lubov Bazan attempts to uplift the veil of secrecy surrounding Belarus and answer an important question of the ethnogenesis of the Belarusians.
Unique in its ongoing struggle for independence, throughout its history Belarus has been deprived of this luxury by being continuously included in various state formations such as Kievan Rus’, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Kingdom of Poland, the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union. A History of Belarus is a thorough chronological narrative that covers major milestones of Belarus’s journey into the twenty-first century.
Lubov Bazan gives her readers plenty of leeway to form their own conclusions about the historical material presented. By incorporating different theoretical viewpoints on fundamental issues such as the ethnic background of the Belarusian people and formation of their national identity, the origins of the language, and the historically complex religious composition of the country, Bazan offers a platform for discussion.