Ю. П. Присяжнюк


Introduction. In today’s society, the role of public
dialogue is on the rise. Accordingly, radical changes
are awaiting the tasks of historians aimed to improve
not only the epistemological technologies of their
researchers but also the ways to present the knowledge
obtained. This mission is driven by a sharp increase of
competition in the information market. Therefore, the
practice of public history seems extremely important.
In the Ukrainian case, it is also valuable because the
peasantry gets into the orbit of controversy as a
potential object (or subject) of complex and longlasting communication.
In this case, drawing attention to M. Drahomanov’s
figure is not accidental. In the latter half of the 20th
century, this society figure happened to be at the heart
of public debate on numerous social development
issues. He was acknowledged in intellectual
communities not only in Dnieper Ukraine and
Halychyna, but also throughout Europe.
This circumstance prompts to look at the problem,
which I formulate as «Drahomanov and the peasant
question». It is dictated by the increased relevance both
in the period we are exploring, and nowadays. We trace
the points of its bifurcation in the interaction of such
phenomena as «intellectual», «peasant», «publicity».
Purpose. The purpose of the exploration is to
investigate the public-presentation of M. Drahomanov’s
views on the peasantry (peasant question).
Methods. Based on the intellectual history of the
study, it is especially important that is requires a rather
complex model of involvement, optimization and
combination of epistemological categories of the
cultural sphere, and at the same time many subjectsobjects of history.
Results. In the second half of the nineteenth century
the peasant question bothered all Ukrainian figures
who felt a call to serving the people. M. Drahomanov
was distinguished among the rest by his education, scale
and depth of thinking, as well as a high (as at that
time) public presentation of his views. Many of them
were related to the peasant question in one way or
another, but in a very special one, as we were able to
find out. Relying on the cultural and national
enlightenment of people, he had a little regard for the
simplistic-emotional nature of the perception of his ideas
by the peasants themselves.
Originality. Taking into account numerous, though
«scattered into separate autonomous groups»,
arguments about the peasantry, without exaggerating
the vast array of historiography of the problem, as well
as guided by the best examples of interpretation of the
era and its tendencies, the author came to the
conclusion: the specificity of M. Drahomanov’s
interpretation due to his special understanding of
another issue – the national one. Concerning the
publicity of the presentation of his views, Drahomanov
was well known for the fact that his works were widely
read, discussed, praised or/ conversely criticized by
intellectuals with varied professional backgrounds, and
most importantly – by different identities. To some extent,
it hindered the development of synthetic works that
would conceptually explain the scientist’s attitude to
the «peasant question».
Conclusion. M. Drahomanov saw the solution of the
ripe social problems mainly in the plane of functioning
of the intellectual and political activities, leaving the
demographic, urbanization, spiritual and national
potential of the peasantry aloof. Interest in these aspects
determines the prospects for further research


Drahomanov, intellectual environment, peasantry, ethnic culture, public history.


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Ю. П. Присяжнюк

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