Mykhailo Hrushevsky (1866–1934) was Ukraine’s greatest historian. His academic career began at Kyiv University, where in 1890 he graduated from the Department of History and Philology.
Appointed professor of history at Lviv University in 1894, he became a leading figure in the Shevchenko Scientific Society and in the scholarly and cultural community centered in Lviv. In 1918, he was head of the government of the independent Ukrainian republic. From 1924 to 1931, in Kyiv, he organized historical studies at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. An extraordinarily prolific writer, he produced some 2,000 scholarly works.
His magnum opus, the Istoriia Ukraïny-Rusy (History of Ukraine-Rus’), appeared between 1898 and 1937. These ten published volumes (in eleven books) trace Ukrainian history from the earliest times to the post-Khmelnytsky era in the late 1650s. The History was internationally acclaimed at the time of its publication, but in Soviet Ukraine after the 1930s no scholarly references to it were permitted to appear. Attempts in the 1960s to “rehabilitate” Hrushevsky and his works failed, and it was only in the late 1980s that the Ukrainian public began to regain access to the History.