The Mysteries of the Caucasus

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Press: Xlibris, Corp. (September 23, 2010)
Author Name:Gierycz, Dorota


The author, a former senior United Nations official stationed in Sukhumi and Tbilisi, tells the stories of people in Abkhazia and Georgia proper, intertwined with astute and timely analysis of the political events that have shaped the small Caucasus nation in the years since she gained her independence—from the rise and fall of Shevardnadze, the hero of perestroika and the West’s favourite “democrat”, to the era of Saakashvili, the proclaimed “beacon of democracy”, increasingly authoritarian and challenged by a discontented public. 
The analysis is also anchored in Georgia’s history and collective memory, indelibly marked by the lasting impact of the brutal rule of Stalin and Beria and the ever-present shadow and interference of Russia.


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  •     I purchased this book because I am about to travel to Georgia to teach English. Since this is the first book I have read yet concerning current and recent politics in Georgia, I am not in a position to evaluate the book's claims for authenticity. Assuming it is all accurate, I found it to be highly informative regarding the circumstances concerning the "breakaway regions" of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as the 2008 war with Russia. This book did an excellent job of describing the macrocosmic political factors at play, as well as the effect on ordinary people, both in Georgia and in Abkhazia. The book was in depth as far as describing current political circumstances and gave an understandable summary of the recent turmoil, and now that I more or less understand what happened and why I feel a book heavier on details and history is called for. I don't want that to sound like a criticism, however- prior to reading this book I don't think I would have fully appreciated a heavily-detailed account of the skirmishes. I highly recommend this book for anyone thinking of traveling to the Caucasus, or anyone who wants a better understanding of the zeitgeist there.

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