By Sebastian Smith
Publish yr note: First released in 1998
Ancient travelers known as the Caucasus the mountain of languages. Greeks, Persians, Romans, Goths, Arabs, Mongols and Turks have all undergone the zone; poets and artists were encouraged by means of its rugged good looks and but its heritage is a sad one - for hundreds of years it's been ravaged by way of almost non-stop warfare. each 50 years, it kind of feels, Russia makes an attempt to take regulate of this highly strategic a part of the realm - sandwiched because it is among Iran, Turkey and Russia and crossed via essentially the most important oil pipelines on this planet.
The most modern clash to brush around the region started while Vladimir Putin invaded Chechnya in 1999. hundreds of thousands of Russian infantrymen and hundreds of thousands extra Chechens - either rebels and civilians - died and Chechnya's cities and towns have been bombed past attractiveness. Sebastian Smith travelled to Chechnya in this interval.
A mix of travelogue, historical past and warfare journalism, Allah's Mountains tells the tale of the clash among this state of mountain tribes and the could of the Russian military. A relocating instance of the way heritage might be written. Smith's account of the ancient historical past to the clash reads like a unique, yet larger, since it additionally has the intimacy and immediacy of an eyewitness account. He has given us a memorable, well-researched account of a in particular terrible conflict. - Literary evaluate this can be a riveting publication, written with nearly seemless splendor. - overseas Affairs
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Extra resources for Allah's Mountains: The Battle for Chechnya
By contrast, Rieber has called attention to Russia’s ongoing cultural distinctiveness from the surrounding world and the internal debates over orientation that arose even in times of relative integration. ”46 Looking East At fi rst glance, the deeply ingrained Western discourse of Russian barbarism and despotism provides precisely the opposite backdrop for the Soviet-Western interactions in the interwar period, so marked by the eff usions of Sovietophilia. But here as well, the picture is one of certain continuities amidst decisive historical change.
First, foreign officials such as the British trade representative became interested in dealing with the committee directly, outside of party control. Second, wild rumors about Bolshevik weakness and the prospect of the Prokukish committee forming a shadow government circulated among the Russian emigration and the Western press. Even some underground Mensheviks in Moscow, reporting on the anxieties of their erstwhile Bolshevik cousins, talked about the impending end of one-party dictatorship. The immediate pretext for the committee’s dissolution was the imminent arrival of foreign aid workers who might link up with the non-party activists.
During the Civil War, there were a number of abortive attempts by state agencies to set up foreign bureaus that would channel information and equipment to the Soviet Republic, and the Commissariat of Enlightenment had an International Section from the end of 1918, headed by F. N. Petrov (future head of VOKS, the All-Union Society for Cultural Ties Abroad, in the early 1930s), that was concerned with establishing ties with revolutionary artists. Only by the early 1920s, however, did several state commissariats, including the commissariats of health and enlightenment, have permanent representatives abroad, while others invited and received specialists.
Allah's Mountains: The Battle for Chechnya by Sebastian Smith