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Excerpt from “A Brief Outline of Ukrainian History” by Theodosia Boresky

Zakhar Berkut by Ivan Franko at Boop.Market

(This article is included in the Appendix of “Zakhar Berkut” by Ivan Franko, the book that is translated by Theodosia Boresky.)

To the majority of people not only of Western Europe and America, but also to political and intellectual circles, Ukraine is a “terra incognita”.

Many foreigners and Muscovites to whom the Tzarist regime taught a falsified history of Russia have come to believe that Ukraine as a political concept does not exist. Some have gone so far as to say that it was conceived by the Germans to mask their colonial aspirations. However, even before World War I, Ukrainians were averse to being confused with Russians. Ukraine possessed the name Rus (pron. Roosh) as early as the 10th century, while the Muscovite or (as it is called today) the Russian nation did not have its beginning until the middle of the 13th century. Although for more than 125 years it has been drilled into them by the Russian government and schools that they were Russian, the Ukrainian people never have lost their original identity.

Ancient Greek writers called the land “Rhos” and later Latin writers, “Rutheni”. In Ukrainian documents of old the land is called “Roos”, this being the name of the dynasty as for instance the name Hapsburg or Hohenzollern.

As early as the year 1187 we find the name “Ukraina” mentioned in the Ipatiev Chronicle in connection with the death of a Ukrainian prince, Volodimir.

It was when the Ukrainians lost their independence to Poland and Muscovy that these two countries forbade them the further use of the name of their homeland. Thinking to make their assimilation more complete the governments ordered their scholars and historians to disprove the origin of the name “Ukraina”. Thus, between them a myth was fabricated that the name “Ukraina” meant a section or piece of Russian territory, a sort of borderland, and that in reality there was and had never been any such country as Ukraina nor any such people as the Ukrainians. This information was written into their encyclopedias and history books and taught to the whole nation, causing of course much misunderstanding of the problem of the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian nation.

However, in the French National Library a map of the year 1580 has been found on which the land Ukraina is plainly indicated. On the map of H. L. De Beauplain of 1650 Ukraine is indicated by “Typus Generalis Ukrainie”. In another book of his, “Description d’Ukrainie” published in 1650 De Beauplain gives definite boundaries of Ukraina and identifies it as entirely independent of Poland and Muscovy. (The name Russian did not begin to be used until the second half of the 18th century).

Likewise maps of the Italian geographers Sancone and Cornetti of the years 1641 and 1657 have been found in which Ukraina is called “Ukraina a Paesa de Cosacchi” (Ukraine or the land of the Kozaks). In the same library there is a globe of Cornelius dated 1660-1670 in which Ukrainian lands are called “Ukraina”. Then there is an English map of Morden 1709 where also is found the name “Ukraina”.

Thus, it can readily be seen that the name Ukraina was used from the very beginning of its history not only by the Ukrainians themselves but also by European scholars of that time. The very oldest folk songs of the Ukrainian people, still in existence today, indicate that the name “Ukrainian” was used by those clans occupying the land on which Ukrainians still live today.

Ethnographically the plains of Ukraine once stretched in a wide belt of about 600 miles along the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, from the lower Danube and the Carpathian range in the west, crossing the rivers Don and Volga and reaching to the Ural Mountains in the east. About 773,400 square kilometers, bordering upon the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, are under the U. S. S. R.; 132,200 square kilometers, consisting of East Galicia, the western section of Volhynia, Kholm, Pidlyashe and Polisya, are under Poland; 17,600 square kilometers, the provinces of Bessarabia and Bukovina, are under Rumania; and 14,900 square kilometers (one third of which has now been given to Hungary), Podkarpatska-Rus, are under Czechoslovakia; which makes a grand total of 938,100 square kilometers of land occupied by the Ukrainian people under the various controlling governments. (Both these and the following figures were taken from a survey prepared by Prof. V. Kubiyovich and published in the Ukrainian General Encyclopedia (Lviw) Vol. III).

The number of Ukrainians under U. S. S. R. is estimated at 35,026,000; under Poland 6,257,000; under Rumania 1,100,000; under Czechoslovakia 569,000, making a total of 42,952,000. When to this is added the number of Ukrainians in the U. S. A., Canada and South America, a very conservative estimate of the total number of Ukrainians in the world is about 45 million people. Since most of these figures were based on an old census (1910) taken by foreign rulers in Europe and since many Ukrainian immigrants coming to America and Canada gave instead of their true nationality, the name of the ruling government, the figures may actually run as high as 56 million people.

It may seem not a little strange to one reading this article that such a large number of people have no independent nation of their own, until he learns something of the history, the oppressions suffered, and the evolution of the Ukrainian problem. By that time, he can do naught but admire the courage of the people who have so successfully resisted every effort to be assimilated and to be discouraged from keeping their original identity, their culture and religion.

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Zakhar Berkut by Ivan Franko (eBook)

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Excerpt from “Zakhar Berkut” by Ivan Franko

Zakhar Berkut by Ivan Franko at Boop.Market

How melancholy it is in our Tukhlia today! True, the rivers Strey and Opir still wash its rocky, birch-rimmed shores; grass and flowers cover its vales in the spring, and in its clear azure skies, as in ancient times, still glides and circles overhead the giant eagle “berkut”. But everything else, how it has changed, the forests, villages and especially the people!

The dense jungle growth of forests which covered almost its entire expanse to the edges of the rivers, except for the upland downs, now has become sparse, diminished, melted away like snow under the heat of the sun; here and there it has completely disappeared leaving behind bald spots of barren areas. In some places, all that is left is charred remains of stumps among which grow forlorn spruce or the even more wretched maple saplings.

Where long ago peace reigned supreme broken only now and again by the mournful sound of a shepherd’s “trembita” floating down from some far off upland, or perhaps the roar of a bison or a moose from the murky tangled thickets, now upon the downs shout the cattle herdsmen and in the ravines and gullies halloo the woodcutters, sawers and shingle-makers, ceaselessly, like deathless worms eating and cutting away the beauty of the Tukholian mountain region, the centuries-old spruces, pines and evergreens, either guiding them downstream, cut into lengths, to the new steam-powered sawmills or sawing them on the spot into boards and shingles.

But the people have changed most of all. At first glance, it would seem they have become more civilized, but in reality, all that has happened is that there has been an increase in the population. There are more villages and hamlets and more houses in the villages, but within these houses there is also greater poverty and misery. The people are wretched, downtrodden, gloomy, towards strangers diffident and self-effacing. Each thinks only of himself without understanding that such a way of life disrupts their unity and causes the disintegration of the whole community.

That was not the way it had been here a long time ago! Though there were less people, what a valiant spirit they possessed! How courageously they lived amidst the inaccessible, primeval fastnesses, high up within the shadow of the mighty giant, Mt. Zelemenya. But for centuries misfortune has been tormenting them. Repeated onslaughts have uprooted their good life, and poverty has broken their freedom-loving spirit. Today only fragmentary accounts of those days remain to remind their descendants of that more fortunate life of their forefathers.

When sometimes an old granny, sitting on the hearth spinning wool, begins to relate stories to the little grandchildren about those times long ago, about the attacks of the ferocious, dog-faced Mongols and about the Tukholian leader Berkut, the children listen fearfully and tears glisten in their grey-blue eyes. But when the marvelous story ends, young and old sigh and remark, “My, what a wonderful tale!”

“Yes, yes!” grandma will say nodding her head. “Yes, my children! For us it is only a story, but long ago it was really so!”

“I wonder if those times will ever return?” some elder might remark. “The old sages say they WILL return again, but perhaps only before the end of the world?”

Cheerless indeed, it is in our Tukhlia today! Only legends endure to remind us of old times and the old life. The people of today, brought up in misery and subjugation in the thousand-year-old chains of foreign domination, refuse to believe they are anything but fiction.

Nonetheless the thoughts of a poet return to those old times, making the people come to life again. No matter how unlike our present ways of living those old customs were, all whose hearts are pure, sincere and sympathetic towards their fellow-men will find inspiration here which might well prove useful for the betterment of humanity in our present “civilized” times.

Ivan Franko, author of Zakhar Berkut

Zakhar Berkut by Ivan Franko (eBook)

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Is learning a foreign language important?

Is learning a foreign language important?

In today’s world, survival is equivocal to human connection. How well we connect with one another determines our ability to be productive. With thousands of languages in the world, one may question the importance of being able to communicate in a language other than their own. It is paramount to be able to do so.

How does speaking a foreign language affect the business world?

Being able to speak a foreign language satisfies a courtesy that can be exemplified in ambassadors. An ambassador often will be able to speak the language of the country they are sent to. Their knowledge of the language highlights respect between nations. When in the business world, or even when enjoying a friendly acquaintance, being able to speak a language other than a person’s native language displays a reach for connection. To take the time to learn another language is one of the most respectful actions a person can do for another. This can go a long way in business because it can easily display grace and manners. Speaking in another person’s language instead of your own creates a friendly atmosphere where ideas can flow. When negotiations take place, which they often do in business, being able to speak the same language creates a kinship between all parties involved. The buck doesn’t stop there either. There are certain ideas about learning another language that many people haven’t thought of.

A foreign language can open our eyes to another culture

Most people can see the differences between cultures. Each culture has its own artistry that shows beauty. It can be almost baffling as to how these cultures are so different. Learning a foreign language has a benefit that most people may not realize. Learning a language can offer an analysis of how a culture thinks. The way language is organized can show the feelings and perceptions of how someone from a foreign country thinks. The more people are able to understand each other the more this becomes one world instead of many countries. A foreign language can offer your own mind some new discoveries. An example of this is foreign poetry, which can speak volumes about the human condition. So long as the words can be read, they can touch a person’s heart. Knowing only one language can in fact limit how much a person can perceive about themselves. Stretching a person’s cognition can also benefit them in other ways.

An enjoyable hobby that keeps on giving

It can be fun to speak a foreign language. It adds a little bit of zest to interactions. The ability to meet someone and hear their accent and start speaking in their native tongue is enjoyable. Typically, it will immediately evoke some form of appreciation on the other person’s part, which makes the whole interaction so much more wholesome. Learning is also easier than people realize. Once a person knows enough so they can ask questions about basic things, their regular interactions will dramatically improve their knowledge base over time.

Bringing the world closer together

When knowledge breaks down and people cannot communicate it is very hard to connect. Humanity is stronger when it is united. Learning another language is like a hand reaching out to form a bond with the entire world. Connectivity is only getting stronger. With global communication occurring instantaneously due to technology, the need for foreign language is becoming more evident every day. So have some fun with it, look up a language that you would like to learn and put a little time into teaching yourself. It may be one of the most rewarding things that there is.

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Excerpt from “The Moral Obligation to Be Intelligent” by John Erskine

The Moral Obligation to Be Intelligent

If a wise man should ask. What are the modern virtues? and should answer his own question by a summary of the things we admire; if he should discard as irrelevant the ideals which by tradition we profess, but which are not found outside of the tradition or the profession — ideals like meekness, humility, the renunciation of this world; if he should include only those excellences to which our hearts are daily given, and by which our conduct is motived, — in such an inventory what virtues would he name?

This question is neither original nor very new. Our times await the reckoning up of our spiritual goods which is here suggested. We have at least this wisdom, that many of us are curious to know just what our virtues are. I wish I could offer myself as the wise man who brings the answer. But I raise this question merely to ask another — When the wise man brings his list of our genuine admirations, will intelligence be one of them? We might seem to be well within the old ideal of modesty if we claimed the virtue of intelligence. But before we claim the virtue, are we convinced that it is a virtue, not a peril?

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The Moral Obligation to Be Intelligent and Other Essays by John Erskine (eBook)

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Before You Turn Your eBook Into Print—Read This First!

Before You Turn Your eBook Into Print—Read This First

Are you considering turning your eBook into a printed book with one of today’s convenient and cost-effective print-on-demand solutions? Before you do, you should consider some important aspects of your new venture, to make your print book the best it can be.

Creating a printed book is somewhat different from cranking out information products, because there are certain time-honored conventions to laying out and structuring a book. First of all, you’ll need to be cognizant of your page numbering and what pages your chapters begin on; you’ll need to pay attention to things like “widows” and “orphans” and consider how your pages flow within the context of your book.

The rules of the print world

For example, it’s customary to have all first pages of new chapters begin on the right-hand (odd-numbered) side of the book in all languages written left to right.

You’ll also need to include things called “front matter” and “back matter,” which you may not have much of (or even need) in an eBook.

Front matter appears in the front of your book, prior to the main content. It includes your title page, copyright notice, dedication, foreword, preface, acknowledgments, illustrations list, abbreviations, introduction and the table of contents. Blank pages are used as “filler” to take up space between front matter that needs to appear on the right-hand (odd-numbered) pages.

Back matter appears in the back of your book, after all the content. It includes endnotes, bibliography, glossary, index, information about the author, ordering info, forms and/or coupons.

The front matter and back matter are very important for a printed book. They also follow certain conventions for which page they appear on. Pick up your favorite book and take a closer look at the front and back matter. Chances are, you’ve never given it much thought, but you should start thinking about books a little more carefully, to fully appreciate how they’re put together.

How long is a rope?

Just keep in mind, not all eBooks or white papers or PDFs lend themselves well to book conversion. If your eBook PDF is only 20 pages in length with wide margins to begin with, you probably don’t want to go the printed book route. Shorter works won’t “translate” well into print form, as their page length doesn’t provide enough width in the spine to hold the glue evenly. A book of about 30 pages which is perfect bound (the pages glued together with the cover at the spine) can end up with lumpy glue and an uneven finish. Even the best printers can have difficulty making a thin volume look good in perfect binding. And a lumpy, clumpy binding on a thin book makes a lousy impression on reviewers and interviewers, not to mention your reading public. Of course, you could go for a saddle-stitch binding, but then you lose the spine altogether, and your book becomes more of a brochure, losing it’s spine title and getting lost between other volumes on a shelf.

Of course, you can always make your margins super-wide and your fonts super-large. Or, you can put in the extra work to expand on your content and fill it out for print readers. That may be a good exercise, in any case. But no matter what you decide to do, you definitely want to produce a book of a reasonable length—no less than 50 pages, with a minimum of 100 pages being ideal (in my opinion, that is). They don’t call it “book-length” for nothing!

Conventions matter

Now, structuring and formatting your content for print publication can be a very different story from putting it into digital format. First of all, there are the popular conventions of book layout which have been standardized over centuries of book publishing. And then there’s the basic physical fact of accommodating a certain paper size and setting font sizes and margin widths so that the book is readable. While you can type your content into a word processing document, add graphics, and export it to PDF—and voilà!—you have an eBook, creating a printed book takes a different kind of focus.

Whereas eBooks may be hastily constructed digital products which are put out for sale before they’re polished to a shiny gleam, a print book requires closer attention to certain details. A print version of a work may need to have a more “solid” tone, a more staid approach, than its electronic “sibling” eBook. White papers have certain conventions, such as using the passive voice to sound more professional, but that may make a book version sound stuffy, so that writing style may need to change as well. Think about how other books similar to yours do it—and copy their approach. “Talent copies, but genius steals,” says the adage. But in this day and age, when plagiarism is so strongly discouraged, you may be better off aiming for talent, than aspiring to genius. Bottom line is, other people have paved the way with book production—corporate people, rich people, highly literate and connected people. You can learn a lot from their examples, so study others who have written print books like your eBook or white paper, and make your edits accordingly.

Looking good in print

In addition to stylistic changes, you’ll need to make physical changes to the layout of your work. You’ll need to put in blank pages to make your different book elements be properly ordered. It’s a good idea to add “fluff” like dedications and acknowledgments and references, for the sake of looking more formal in print. Studying the books on my bookshelf, I’m always amazed at how much “stuff” they include in the front and the back of them. Tables of contents, dedications, testimonials… glossaries and bibliographies and auxiliary information, oh my! You, too, can load up your book with lots of extras that make it look like a big press put it out. Especially if you’ve got testimonials… you can load them up at the beginning of the book (just make sure they’re really yours, not automatically generated “testimonials” that some software programs will crank out. Remember, when it comes to print, credibility is everything. A little extra work, filling out your book with “extras” like the big book boys do, can go a long way towards making you look good in print.

Now, making all sorts of amendments to your eBook for the sake of getting into print might seem a bit daunting. (Rewarding, but daunting.) But really, I think the hardest part of the process is figuring out what you need to do, and how you’ll need to do. Actually doing it is the easy part.

Yes, thanks to the internet and high technology in general, the tools you need to make your print publishing adventure not only exciting, but cost-effective, as well. Self-published authors have been creating their own books since the late 1980’s, and lots of research and exploration was done over the years about what it takes to get a book into print. From cutting and pasting typewritten pages onto hard-copy galleys and standing over the photocopy machine with paper towel to wipe off the leftover spots left by white-out… to typing up pages on oddly organized half-folded sheets of paper, and carefully collating the end result… to printing out pages on a dot-matrix printer (it was high-tech at the time!) and reducing them to fit on half-size pages down at the copy shop… to using Adobe PageMaker to layout and format and generate printer-ready proofs for commercial printers… to sneaking print jobs to the laser printer at the office to get a decent print quality without needing to hire a graphic designer or buy expensive equipment… to finally (at last!!!) finding Lulu and their totally self-sufficient print-on-demand solutions that really, truly are a dream come true for a fiercely independent culture creator.

In my own personal and professional experience, the process has come a long way, in the past 30 years, and print-on-demand technology now makes it easier and more affordable than ever to get your words into a printed book. In fact, with some of the most recent online services today, there’s literally no reason why any writer who has the creativity and determination to write a book, can’t publish it as well. I just find it so incredibly ironic that for all the work that goes into writing a book, publishing it (which is really the creatively simplest, albeit the most logistically complex, part of the book creation process) has been kept out of writers’ reach for so long.

I really think it’s a throwback to the days when the only people who could publish books were folks who were wealthy enough to be literate and rich and connected enough to own a printing press and materially comfortable enough (or trade-educated) to fritter away their days setting type and pressing sheets of printed material, one at a time.

Now that’s all different. Computers have changed everything. That’s a fact.

Brave new world

Now, the game is completely different. Writers of any ilk, if they can work a word processing program and follow simple instructions on the internet, have the means well within their grasp to turn their publishing dreams into reality. What’s more, as more and more people turn to writing as a way to not only express themselves, but start to earn a living through the creation and sale of information products, there’s an abundance of digitally published works “floating around online” which could easily become printed products, as well. And for less money than you probably think. Even if you don’t write a book yourself, there’s nothing to keep you from snagging a public domain work that’s downloaded from your favorite website (or given away by an infopreneur as an added bonus for folks who order their products), and turning it into a printed book you can sell, give as a gift, or speak about publicly. Just make sure you publish something you’re allowed to publish! The last thing you need is to have your reputation sullied as a “plagiarist.” The whole point of print publishing is to establish your reputation more firmly, not to undermine it!

So, as you’re considering transitioning your digital assets to print, keep in mind the differences between the new medium and the old. With forethought and planning, your digital assets can become high-quality printed products that not only expand your product line, but help establish your thought leadership position with a great look.

If you need help with your book

Boop Market has been through the thick and thin of self-publishing (the first book we ever published was typeset in a DOS environment, before Windows!) so we know a thing or two about books. Our main mission is to bring out-of-print books back to the readers. But we enjoy bringing new, unpublished books to the market as well.

If you need help getting your book published, whether as eBook, audiobook or a print book, and have it on sale worldwide at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google, Apple, etc., we can help. Contact us today with your questions, and perhaps we can get you published!