The frontier between Islam and Christianity created a class of ferocious warriors known as the Cossacks, while the encounter between the Catholic and Orthodox churches led to a religious tradition that bridges Western and Eastern Christianity. Ukraine has been a home to millions of Jews, serving as the birthplace of Hassidism - and as one of the killing fields of the Holocaust. In The Gates of Europe, award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy examines the history of Ukraine's search for its identity, bringing together some of the major figures in Ukrainian history: Prince Yaroslav the Wise of Kyiv, whose daughter Anna became queen of France; the Cossack ruler Ivan Mazepa, who was immortalized in the poems of Byron and Pushkin; Nikita Khrushchev and his protege-turned-nemesis Leonid Brezhnev; and the heroes of the Maidan protests of 2013 and 2014, who embody the current struggle over Ukraine's future. As Plokhy explains, the recent conflict with Russia is a tragic case of history repeating itself, as Ukraine once again finds itself in the centre of a battle of global proportions. Fascinating and multilayered, The Gates of Europe is the essential guide to understanding not just Ukraine's past but also its future.