Title Twilight of Empire
Subtitle The Brest-Litovsk Conference and the Remaking of East-Central Europe, 1917–1918
Author Borislav Chernev
ISBN 9781487524494
List price USD 34.95
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 322
Book size 159 x 229 mm
Publishing year 2019
Original publisher University of Toronto Press
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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“For decades, historians have looked at the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk mostly as a symbol of harsh terms imposed on the Bolshevik government by the ruthless German militarized regime. Chernev successfully demonstrates that the alliance of the Central Powers was much less German-dominated than has previously been believed…Chernev has demonstrated convincingly that the Brest-Litovsk moment should be seen as an important stage in the history of decolonization.”

Gwendal Piégais, Ab Imperio, no. 2, 2018

“Borislav Chernev’s Twilight of Empire is a solid addition to…World War 1 historiography, bringing an impressive variety of language, archives, and sources to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk…There is very little to improve on in Twilight of Empire…This is a fantastic discussion of the conference incorporating perspectives from all the major players. Highly recommended.”

John Fahey, Region: Regional Studies of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, Volume 7, #1, Jan. 2018

‘This book is of high scholarly value and an important contribution to the history of international relations and revolutionary upheavals in East Central Europe at the end of First World War.

Johannes Remy, Slavonic and East European Review vol 96:02:2018

‘This book offers a new way of thinking about the relationships that exist between and among nations and non-historic groups throughout the region, and most importantly provides direction for future research on the topic…. Twilight of Empire should be read by all parties interested in this critical moment in the history of Eastern Europe.’

John W. Steinberg, The Russian Review vol 77:02:2018

‘Essential. All levels/Libraries.’

G.P. Cox, Choice Magazine vol 55:07:2018

“Chernev’s study contributes in important ways to a rethinking of “the end of the war” on the Eastern Front and how Brest-Litovsk prepared the ground for future conflict.”

Robert Blobaum, West Virginia University, Central European History Dec. 2017

“…this is an excellent, well-written, and well-researched book. It should be recommended to all historian of the Great War, of the peace settlements, and of East-Central Europe in the twentieth century.”

Christoph Mick, University of Warwick, Journal of Modern History, March 2019

“…Chernev has demonstrated convincingly that the Brest-Litovsk moment should be seen as an important stage in the history of decolonization.”

Gwendal Piégais, Ab Imperio, vol 2, 2018

“This is a thoughtful, well-researched and well written work, a credit both to the author and the publisher…The book goes beyond the headlines in detailing the positions adopted by the two main protagonists at the [Brest-Litovsk] talks: Bolshevik Russia and Imperial Germany.”

Steven J. Main, Russian Military Studies Office, UK, Europe-Asia Studies, vol 71 no 4, May 2019

Twilight of Empire is a serious contribution to scholarship on World War I. Borislav Chernev skilfully maps the transition from imperial to post-imperial politics in East Central Europe.”

Maciej Górny, Deutsches Historisches Institut Warschau


Twilight of Empire is the first book in English to examine the Brest-Litovsk Peace Conference during the later stages of World War I with the use of extensive archival sources. Two separate peace treaties were signed at Brest-Litovsk – the first between the Central Powers and Ukraine and the second between the Central Powers and Bolshevik Russia.

Borislav Chernev, through an insightful and in-depth analysis of primary sources and archival material, argues that although its duration was short lived, the Brest-Litovsk settlement significantly affected the post-Imperial transformation of East Central Europe. The conference became a focal point for the interrelated processes of peacemaking, revolution, imperial collapse, and nation-state creation in the multi-ethnic, entangled spaces of East Central Europe. Chernev’s analysis expands beyond the traditional focus on the German-Russian relationship, paying special attention to the policies of Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Ukraine. The transformations initiated by the Brest-Litovsk conferences ushered in the twilight of empire as the Habsburg, Hohenzollern, and Ottoman Empires all shared the fate of their Romanov counterpart at the end of World War I.


List of Illustrations


Note on Transliteration and Place Names



Introduction: A Forgotten Peace

Chapter 1: Ostpolitik Meets World Revolution

Chapter 2: Peacemaking and Sell-Determination at Brest-Litovsk

Chapter 3: The Great January Strike as a Prelude to Revolution in Austria

Chapter 4: The Brest-Litovsk System and Modem Ukrainian Statehood

Chapter 5: Brest-Litovsk and the Elusive Bulgarian “Dream of Byzantium”

Chapter 6: The Second Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and After

Conclusion: Brest-Litovsk and Europe’s Twentieth Century





About the Author:

Borislav Chernev is Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Exeter.

Target Audience:

Useful for people interested history of international relations, decolonization and world war I.

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