The Ghost of Freedom

The Ghost of Freedom : A History of the Caucasus

3.71 (274 ratings by Goodreads)
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The Caucasus mountains rise at the intersection of Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. A land of astonishing natural beauty and a dizzying array of ancient cultures, the Caucasus has often been the object of imperial ambition. South of the mountains, Persia and Ottoman Turkey vied for control of the lowland shepherds abd upland khans who inhabited the zone; to the north, the Russian empire wasged a war for mastery of the higlnads that lasted th better part of the nineteenth century. For most of the twentieth century, the entire Caucasus lay inside the Soviet Union, before movements of national liberation created newly independent countries and sparked the devastating war in Chechnya. The Ghost of Freedom is the first general history of the modern Caucasus, from the beginning of Russian imperial exapnsion up to rise of new countries after the Societ Union's collapse. Combining riveting storytelling with insightful essay-writing, the book provides an indispensible guide to the complicated histories, politics, and cultures of this intriguing frontier.
Based on new research in multiple languages, it shows how the struggle for freedom in the mountains, hills, and plains of the Caucasus has been a perennial theme over the last two hundred years - a struggle which has led to liberation as well as to new forms of captivity. In evocative and accessible prose, Charles King reveals how tsars, highlanders, revolutionaries, and adventures have contributed to the fascinating history of this borderland. Ranging from the salons of Russian writers to the circus sideshows of America, from the offices of European diplomats to the village of Muslim mountaineers, The Ghost of Freedom paints a rich portrait of one the world's most volatile and least understood regions.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 166 x 236 x 30mm | 662.24g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 4 maps, 8 pp halftone plates
  • 0195177754
  • 9780195177756
  • 771,974

Table of contents

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Review quote

The Ghost of Freedom provides an excellent analysis of the region's turbulent history since the late 18th century; offers a rich exploration of how the Caucasus has been imagined by outsiders; and gives a good overview of contemporary conflicts and developments in the region. * Nina Caspersen, Times Higher Education Supplement * Charles King has written a very instructive and interesting book * Norman Stone New Statesman * King has produced a work that is remarkable for its breadth of coverage, the depth of the author's insights, and the eloquence of the text. It is hard to imagine how the goal King set himself could have been better achieved. * George Hewitt SOAS *
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About Charles King

Charles King is Ion Ratiu Professor of Romanian Studies, Professor of International Affairs, and Professor of Government at Georgetown University. He is the author of The Black Sea: A History and The Moldovans, and his writing has appeared in The Times Literary Supplement and Foreign Affairs.
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Rating details

274 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 20% (56)
4 39% (108)
3 32% (89)
2 6% (17)
1 1% (4)
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