The Ghost of Freedom: A History of the CaucasusCharles King
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King picks and chooses events and themes seemingly designed to give proper depth to an understanding of the fiery, violent decade and a half since the collapse of the Soviet Union.-Foreign Affairs It is a bold historian who writes a history of the Caucasus... Some forty mutually unintelligible languages are spoken. Worse for anyone trying to present a coherent narrative, these disparate peoples have very different histories, and only two, the Georgians and Armenians (some would add the Azeris), have a history of statehood consistent enough to be retold as one would retell the history of a West European country.The different reactions of Caucasian nations to the conquests of the early nineteenth century - complicity and acceptance by the Georgians, relief by the Armenians and Ossetians, desperate surrender or flight by the Circassians, resistance to the death by Chechens and Dagestanis - are the best insight that King can offer into the diverse cultures that were incorporated into the Russian Empire or wiped out by it.“- Donald Rayfield, The Times Literary Supplement Recently, a few books have been published about the Caucasus,... but King's is the most comprehensive, weaving in the history of all the events from the past two centuries that shaped czarist, Soviet, and Russian relations with the region.-Library Journal Charles King's Ghost of Freedom is a work that's gripping and important, scholarly and wonderfully readable. It not only explains and analyzes one of our world's most strategic regions but also delivers all the exotic and romantic turbulence of these flamboyant warriors and poets and the extraordinary peoples of the Caucasus.”- Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Young Stalin