The Shore of Expectations: A Cultural Study of the Shistdesiatnyky


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Product ID: 2586


In his monograph Simone Bellezza reconstructs the history of the shistdesiatnyky—the generation of Soviet Ukrainian intellectuals who spearheaded the renaissance of Ukrainian national culture in the 1960s. His analysis begins with the awakening of artistic and literary expression during the so-called Soviet Thaw and describes the varied relationship that Ukrainian artists and writers had with the Soviet authorities until the mass arrests and repressions of intellectuals in January 1972. Dr. Bellezza has consulted a wide range of sources: official and samvydav (samizdat) publications, archival documents (including those preserved in the former archive of the KGB in Kyiv), interviews, and many unpublished sources that were previously ignored in the historiography of the period.

Bellezza presents the movement of the shistdesiatnyky in all of its complexity. It was a fundamental stage in the development of Ukraine as a modern nation but also a typically Soviet phenomenon linked to broader Soviet culture. The shistdesiatnyky, most of whom were born in the 1930s, considered themselves the best products of the Soviet system of education. Consequently their rediscovery of Ukrainian culture did not automatically lead them to reject Russian culture or socialist ideology. They were conscious of the close and complex relations between the Russians and the Ukrainians. Although they condemned the widespread Russian chauvinism that had persisted during from tsarist times into the Soviet era, they retained hope in seeing democratic and libertarian reforms in the USSR.

This book has been awarded the 2020 Omeljan Pritsak Book Prize in Ukrainian Studies for a distinguished book in the field of Ukrainian studies.

Additional information

Weight 0.6 kg
Dimensions 23 × 15.5 × 2.5 cm








xxiv + 352

Year Published



Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press


  1. Marko R. Stech

    Polly Jones of University College Oxford wrote a review of Simone Attilio Bellezza’s The Shore of Expectations: A Cultural Study of the Shistdesiatnyky. It was published in Slavonic and East European Review, vol. 98, no. 4, October 2020, pp. 786-88.

  2. Marko R. Stech

    Illia Chedoluma’s Ukrainian-language review of Simone Bellezza’s monograph was published on the site of the journal Україна Модерна in Lviv. Here is the link: https://uamoderna.com/Simone_Bellezza.

  3. Marko R. Stech

    Sofiia Olzhyn published a review of The Shore of Expectations: A Cultural Study of the Shistdesiatnyky in Krytyka (Kyiv), no 5-6 (283-284), 2021, п. 15.

  4. Marko R. Stech

    Alessandro Achilli of the University of Cagliari published a review of this book in East/West Journal of Ukrainian Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1 (2023), pp. 183-85. Here is the link: https://ewjus.com/index.php/ewjus/article/view/794/402

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