Book Announcement: The Tragedy of Ukraine

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at

Subject: Book Announcement: The Tragedy of Ukraine
Date: Mon, 19 Dec 2022
From: Nicolai Petro <>

The Tragedy of Ukraine: What Classical Greek Tragedy Can Teach Us About Conflict Resolution (Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, 2023) is now available for purchase at: — link to the publisher — link to
your preferred bookstore —

In a nutshell, it argues that the conflict in Ukraine has deep domestic roots. Reconciliation will require untangling these roots and embracing a change of heart, or catharsis. Classical Greek tragedy is an ideal tool for this, since it once performed a similar function in Athenian society.

An extended sample of the text is also available on Google Books (short link

Some advance praise:

“Brilliant, insightful, thoroughly researched study. Essential reading for those who wish to understand the causes of the war in Ukraine and its implications for the rest of the world.”

— Jack F. Matlock, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to the USSR, 1987–1991, author of Autopsy on an Empire, and Superpower Illusions

“Unique in amplifying the voices of the ‘other Ukraine’ that fit neither Putin’s ‘single people’ nor the dominant Ukrainian nation-building projects.

— Volodymyr Ishchenko, Freie Universität Berlin

“Convincing and original . . . provides a unique insight into one of the great tragedies of our time and is set to become a classic.”

— Richard Sakwa, University of Kent, author of Frontline Ukraine

“An important and intriguing guide to Ukraine’s historical and cultural diversity . . . a riveting portrait.”

— Katrina vanden Heuvel, Publisher, The Nation

“Wise and important . . . Petro writes gracefully and knowingly, carefully tracing the path into doom and the potential ways out.”

— David C. Hendrickson, president of the John Quincy Adams Society and professor emeritus at Colorado College

“Brilliantly argued, meticulously illustrated and potentially therapeutic, if we heed his account.”

— David C. Speedie, Senior Fellow and founding director of the program on U.S. Global Engagement at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.

“Timely, original, and most of all, wise.”

–James Carden, Responsible Statecraft.


Nicolai N. Petro
Professor of Political Science
University of Rhode Island (USA)