Historical Dictionary of Lithuania (Historical Dictionaries of Europe)

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9780810849143: Historical Dictionary of Lithuania (Historical Dictionaries of Europe)

The Lithuanian people have undergone historic changes quite different from those of other European nations. In earlier centuries geography provided strategic advantage and opportunities for expansion but in recent times the country has more often experienced location as a geopolitical curse. After constantly losing territory and shrinking in size, the country disappeared in 1795. However, after World War I a popular national movement led to the restoration of Lithuania as an independent state. World War II and its bloody aftermath brought foreign occupation as well as genocide, mass murder, and destruction unparalleled in the country's modern history. The restoration of independence in 1990 has fundamentally altered Lithuania's geopolitical reality. Integration into the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization promise a new level of security for the Lithuanian state in the 21st century even as the social and economic transformations present both promising opportunities and difficult challenges.

The second edition of the Historical Dictionary of Lithuania will serve as a useful introduction to virtually all aspects of Lithuania's historical experience, including the country's relations with its neighbors. This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, an extensive bibliography, and over 300 cross-referenced dictionary entries on significant persons, places, and events; institutions and organizations; and political, economic, social, cultural, and religious facets.

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About the Author:

Saulius Suziedlis is professor emeritus of History at the Millersville University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of a number of books and articles on Lithuanian history, he also served as Director of Millersville University's Annual Conference on the Holocaust and Genocide from 2005 to 2009.

Review:

Lithuania has a long and tumultuous history, changing political and geographical boundaries and cultural identity many times since the country first entered the historical record, in 1009. Intended as an introduction for the nonspecialist, this dictionary focuses on the most important mileposts of Lithuania's past. With few exceptions, the author employs present-day spellings of place-names and personal names consistent with their respective national origins. Dates are slightly more problematic, in that Lithuania haschanged from the Gregorian to the Julian calendar and back. Dates are, therefore, given according to the calendar in effect during the event in question. Following a detailed chronology and 35-page introduction, entries pertain to historical personages, events,and locations. Sufficient background ensures that the layperson can understand how people and events fit into the broader fabric of Lithuanian history. Running half a page (for topics like minor rulers and smaller towns) to several pages (for broad topics like Agriculture or Population and demography), entries have cross-references in bold. See also references are noted at the end of entries in small caps. Back matter includes several appendixes (for example, “Pronunciation of Lithuanian Terms” and “Lithuanian Political Leaders since 1918”); a glossary; and a bibliography so extensive that it has a table of contents. Offering breadth of coverage in a condensed format, this volume is an excellent source for colleges and universities with programs in eastern European history. (Booklist)

This dictionary is recommended for all college and public libraries. (American Reference Books Annual)

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