Odessa Recollected: The Port and the People

Odessa Recollected: The Port and the People


Patricia Herlihy

Series: Ukrainian Studies
ISBN: 9781618117366 (Cloth)
Pages: 256 pp.; 55 illus.; 25 tables; 1 fig.; 3 maps
Publication Date: April 2018


The present Ukrainian city of Odessa, formerly an economic asset for the Russian Empire and a resort town for the Soviet Union, always a non-conformist city at once rambunctious and European in style, has become a contested area. Imperial Russian tsars and Soviet leaders maintained an ambivalent attitude towards the maverick city, appreciating the fame and fortune it generated, but also leery of the activities of secret foreign national societies, pogromists, revolutionaries, and simply the perceived lack of patriotism in the singular city so far away from the heart of Russia. With the withering of the lucrative grain trade by the time of the Soviet Union, Odessa became a neglected city, drained of its foreign flavor. With the independence of Ukraine in 1991, there were hopes raised that the architectural beauty and economic prospects of the city would be revived. Given the current hostilities in Eastern Ukraine, with the potential of the Odessa area becoming a possible land bridge to the Crimean Peninsula, the fate of the former Pearl of the Black Sea hangs in suspension.

Patricia Herlihy is Professor Emerita from Brown University and from Emmanuel College, where she held the Louise Doherty Wyant Professorship. She is currently Adjunct Professor, Watson Institute for International Studies, an Associate of Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.

Table of Contents


Part 1: Culture
The Persuasive Power of the Odessa Myth
Odessa Memories
How Ukrainian Is Odesa? From Odessa to Odesa
Jewish Writers of Odessa

Part 2: Community
Death in Odessa: A Study of Population Movements in a Nineteenth-Century City
The Ethnic Composition of Odessa in the Nineteenth Century
Greek Merchants in Odessa in the Nineteenth Century
The Greek Community in Odessa, 1861–1917

Part 3: Commerce
Odessa: Staple Trade and Urbanization in New Russia
Commerce and Architecture in Odessa in Late Imperial Russia
Port Jews of Odessa and Trieste: A Tale of Two Cities
Russian Wheat and the Port of Livorno, 1794–1865
The South Ukraine as an Economic Region in the Nineteenth Century