Caucasus: Mountain Men and Holy Wars

Front Cover
Macmillan, 2001 - Travel - 240 pages
4 Reviews
When the Russians bombed the capital of Muslim Chechnya in 2000, a city with almost a half million people was left with barely a single building intact. Rarely since Dresden and Stalingrad has the world witnessed such destruction.

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. A borderland between Christian and Muslim worlds, the Caucasus is the front line of a fascinating and formidable clash of cultures: Russia versus the predominantly Muslim mountains.

Award-winning writer Nicholas Griffin travels to the mountains of the Caucasus to find the root of todayís conflict. Mapping the rise of Islam through myth, history, and politics, this travelogue centers on the story of Imam Shamil, the greatest Muslim warrior of the nineteenth century, who led a forty-year campaign against the invading Russians. Griffin follows Imamís legacy into the war-torn present and finds his namesake, the Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, continuing his struggle.

Enthralling and fiercely beautiful, Caucasus lifts the lid on a little known but crucially important area of world. With approximately 100 billion barrels of crude oil in the Caspian Sea combined with an Islamic religious interest, it is an unfortunate guarantee that the tragedies that have haunted these jagged mountains in the past will show no sign of abating in the near future.
  

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Review: Caucasus: A Journey to the Land between Christianity and Islam

User Review  - Steve Hanson - Goodreads

I found this book to be a good overview of the history of the Caucasus as a whole. He covers the early periods, the Russian conquest, and has a few chapters on the post-Soviet situations. It is a good ... Read full review

Review: Caucasus: A Journey to the Land between Christianity and Islam

User Review  - cwrigh13 - Goodreads

A good read. The personal accounts were a tiny bit laboured in places. Read full review

Contents

Jagged Land
1
Based in Baku
7
Back in Time
16
Reverberation
19
Living History
26
Born in the Land of Splintered Stars
30
Three Hundred Tongues
39
The First Imam
46
Georgian Nights
106
Hostages of Worth
112
Walking over the Past
122
Guests of the Mountains
126
The Highwire of History
138
Towards Freedom
145
Tours and Travels
157
Driven from the Mountains
161

Heading North
54
The Consolidation of Power
63
Lying in Wait
72
Gambits and Guile
77
Staggered Borders and Soft Lands
91
Titled Characters
97
The Echoes of Blood
176
Into the Black Garden
181
The History of Hostages
195
A Time to Leave
210
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

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.

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