Caucasus: A Journey in the Crucible of Civilisation

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9780747236306: Caucasus: A Journey in the Crucible of Civilisation

The Caucasus is a jagged land. Sandwiched between the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, Turkey to the west, Iran to the south and Russia to the north, if the Caucasus didn't already possess the highest mountain range in Europe, the massive political pressure exerted from all sides would have forced the land to crack and rise anyway. Conquered in its time by Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Peter the Great, Hitler and Stalin, its history is eventful to say the least. Noah's Ark lies, apparently, on the borders of Armenia; the Garden of Eden can be found in the south of Azerbaijan; and Prometheus was, for his sins, bound and pecked on the peak of a mountain in Georgia. Here, the author combines history with travelogue as he explores the Caucasus in search of the legacy of Imam Shamil, 19th century freedom fighter and guru of the modern Chechen resistance.

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About the Author:

Nicholas Griffin was awarded a Betty Trask prize in 2000 for his first novel, The Requiem Shark. His second novel, The House of Sight and Shadow, was published in the same year. Born and bred in London, Griffin now lives in New York.

From Publishers Weekly:

Novelist Griffin (The Requiem Shark) wonderfully weaves historical facts and compelling characters in this adventure through the Caucasus region, the rugged land between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. As the current home to the republics of Georgia, Chechnya, Azerbaijan and Dagestan, the Caucasus region is politically tense and historically convoluted, but Griffin deftly explains the past and present state of the region through two parallel narratives. First, Griffin describes his travels though modern Caucasus with a small film crew as they investigate the legend of Imam Shamil, a Chechen leader who successfully fought Russian invaders during the 19th century and whose exploits continue to inspire Chechen fighters today. Griffin then recounts the many stories and myths regarding Shamil, "a figure revered throughout the region, yet virtually unknown to the West," but who was "a front-page regular of the London Times" as he fought against the Russians for almost 20 years. Through powerful descriptions of the fierce combat between Shamil and the Russians, which pitted a guerrilla forces of an indigenous people against the massed troops of an empire, Griffin shows the many ways in which "the echoes of Chechnya between the mid-19th and turn of the 21st century are remarkable." This short work is an excellent and richly detailed look at an important but relatively little-known geopolitical region.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Nicholas Griffin
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Book Description Headline Review, London, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. The Caucasus is a jagged land. With Turkey to the west, Iran to the south and Russia to the north, the Caucasus is trapped between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. If it didn't already possess the highest mountain range in Europe, the political pressure exerted from all sides would have forced the land to crack and rise. Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Peter the Great, Hitler and Stalin all claimed to have conquered the region, leaving it a rich but bloody history. its place in legend is equally high profile: Noah's Ark is said to lie on the borders of Armenia; the Garden of Eden can be found in the south of Azerbaijan; and Prometheus was, for his sins, bound and tortured on the peak of a mountain in Georgia. Now, the award-winning writer combines narrative history with travelogue as he explores the Caucasus in search of the legacy of Imam Shamil, nineteenth-century freedom fighter and guru of today's Chechen resistance. While tracing the history of Caucasian bloodshed, the author find himself present at the beginning of another Russian attempt to control the region. This enthralling, fiercely beautiful and intermittently hilarious book lifts the lid on a little known but crucially important area of the world whose future today, as ever, hangs in the balance. 240 p. illus, map, bibliography, index. Bookseller Inventory # 29856

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Book Description Review, 2001. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. pp xvi, 239. Col & b/w photos. A new copy. Size: 8vo. Bookseller Inventory # 002105

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