The Ghost of Freedom

“Gripping and important, scholarly and wonderfully readable.”
Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Young Stalin

GhostCoverThe 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 for most of the twentieth century lay inside the Soviet Union, before movements of national liberation created newly independent countries and sparked wars in Chechnya, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. The Ghost of Freedom recounts how tsars, highlanders, revolutionaries, and adventurers contributed to the fascinating history of this borderland, from the origins of modern disputes to debates over oil from the Caspian Sea and its impact on world markets.

“History book of the year.”
— Moscow Times

 

“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

 

“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

 

“This is a rare work with something for all readers . . . . King’s ability to tease out the broader historical patterns in all their complexities and subtleties is remarkable. At the same time, he possesses the sort of keen eye for detail and telling stories that bring the region truly to life in all its vibrant color.”
— American Historical Review

Published by Oxford University Press, 2008

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