Edge of Empires

A History of Georgia

Edge of Empires

Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, Georgia is a country of rainforests and swamps, snow and glaciers, and semi-arid plains. It has ski resorts and mineral springs, monuments and an oil pipeline. It also has one of the longest and most turbulent histories in the Christian or Near Eastern world, but no comprehensive, up-to-date account has been written about this little-known country—until now. Remedying this omission, Donald Rayfield accesses a mass of new material from recently opened archives to tell Georgia’s absorbing story. Beginning with the first intimations of the existence of Georgians in ancient Anatolia and ending with the volatile presidency of Mikheil Saakashvili, Rayfield deals with the country’s internal politics and swings between disintegration and unity, and divulges Georgia’s complex struggles with the empires that have tried to control, fragment, or even destroy it. He describes the country’s conflicts with Xenophon’s Greeks, Arabs, invading Turks, the Crusades, Genghis Khan, the Persian Empire, the Russian Empire, and Soviet totalitarianism. A wide-ranging examination of this small but colorful country, its dramatic state-building, and its tragic political mistakes, Edge of Empires draws our eyes to this often overlooked nation.

The Literature of Georgia

A History

The Literature of Georgia

The first comprehensive and objective history of the literature of Georgia, revealed to be unique among those of the former Byzantine and Russian empires, both in its quality and its 1500 years' history. It is examined in the context of the extraordinarily diverse influences which affected it - from Greek and Persian to Russian and modern European literature, and the folklore of the Caucasus.

A History of Georgia

A History of Georgia

First published in 1977, A History of Georgia has become the standard history of the state. Documenting events from the earliest discoveries by the Spanish to the rapid changes the state has undergone with the civil rights era, the book gives broad coverage to the state's social, political, economic, and cultural history. This work details Georgia's development from past to present, including the early Cherokee land disputes, the state's secession from the Union, cotton's reign, Reconstruction, the Bourbon era, the effects of the New Deal, Martin Luther King, Jr., the fall of the county-unit system, and Jimmy Carter's election to the presidency. Also noted are the often-overlooked contributions of Indians, blacks, and women. Each imparting his own special knowledge and understanding of a particular period in the state's history, the authors bring into focus the personalities and events that made Georgia what it is today. For this new edition, available in paperback for the first time, A History of Georgia has been revised to bring the work up through the events of the 1980s. The bibliographies for each section and the appendixes have also been updated to include relevant scholarship from the last decade.

The Literary and Cultural Reception of Charles Darwin in Europe

The Literary and Cultural Reception of Charles Darwin in Europe

Beyond his pivotal place in the history of scientific thought, Charles Darwin's writings and his theory of evolution by natural selection have also had a profound impact on art and culture and continue to do so to this day. The Literary and Cultural Reception of Charles Darwin in Europe is a comprehensive survey of this enduring cultural impact throughout the continent. With chapters written by leading international scholars that explore how literary writers and popular culture responded to Darwin's thought, the book also includes an extensive timeline of his cultural reception in Europe and bibliographies of major translations in each country.

Russia and Eurasia 2015-2016

Russia and Eurasia 2015-2016

Published and updated annually, Russia and Eurasia deals with the twelve independent republics that became members of the Commonwealth of Independent States following the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1992. The text focuses strongly on recent economic and political developments with shorter sections dealing with foreign policy, the military, religion, education, and specific cultural elements that help to define each republic and differentiate one from the other. Approximately one-third of the book is devoted to Russia, but also includes sections on Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. How the Commonwealth of Independent States came into being and how it has evolved since 1992 is also discussed. The combination of factual accuracy and up-to-date detail along with its informed projections make this an outstanding resource for researchers, practitioners in international development, media professionals, government officials, potential investors and students.

The Empire State of the South

Georgia History in Documents and Essays

The Empire State of the South

This work offers a look at the history of Georgia through over 100 primary documents. ""The Empire State of the South: Georgia History in Documents and Essays"" offers teachers of Georgia history an alternative to the traditional narrative textbook. In this volume, students have the opportunity to read Georgia history rather than reading about Georgia history. Encompassing the entirety of Georgia history into the twenty-first century, ""The Empire State of the South"" is suitable for all courses on Georgia history. This text is divided into 16 chapters comprising 129 documents and 33 essays on various topics of Georgia history. The primary documents represent a wide range of genres, including speeches, newspaper columns, letters, treaties, laws, proclamations, state constitutions, court decisions, and many others. Some documents outline general themes or movements in Georgia history while others address more narrow issues. The thirty-three essays are excerpts from larger pieces that were written by specialists in Georgia history. Each chapter consists of several parts. First is a short narrative introduction. The second part contains the documents themselves. Following the documents are two essays written by historians regarding some topic relevant to the chapter. At the end of each chapter is a short list of suggested readings. The documents themselves range from the usual: state constitutions, laws, and speeches, to the inordinate: plans for constructing what is regarded as the state's first concrete home, a corny campaign song for Eugene Talmadge, an attempt by the General Assembly in 1897 to ban the playing of football, and a 1962 letter Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote from an Albany prison that preceded his more well-known Birmingham letter. Georgia has indeed had a colorful history and ""The Empire State of the South"" tells that story.

The Bivocal Nation

Memory and Identity on the Edge of Empire

The Bivocal Nation

This book is about a divided nation and polarized nationhood. Its principal purpose is to examine division and polarization as forms of imagining that are configured within culture and framed by history. This is what bivocality signifies—two distinct discursive voices through which nationhood is articulated; voices that are nonetheless grounded in a culturally common symbolic field. The volume offers an ethnographically centered analysis of the ways in which Georgians make use of these voices in critical discourses of nationhood. By illuminating the cultural semantics behind these discourses, Nutsa Batiashvili offers a new constellation of conceptual terms for understanding modern forms of nationalism and nation-building in the marginal or liminal landscapes between the Orient and the Occident.

Kolyma Stories

Kolyma Stories

Now in its first complete English translation, this masterpiece chronicles life in a Soviet gulag, based on the author’s own years in a USSR prison camp. Kolyma Stories is a masterpiece of twentieth-century literature, an epic array of short fictional tales reflecting the fifteen years that Varlam Shalamov spent in the Soviet Gulag. This is the first of two volumes (the second to appear in 2019) that together will constitute the first complete English translation of Shalamov’s stories and the only one to be based on the authorized Russian text. Shalamov spent six years as a slave in the gold mines of Kolyma before finding a less intolerable life as a paramedic in the prison camps. He began writing his account of life in Kolyma after Stalin’s death in 1953. His stories are at once the biography of a rare survivor, a historical record of the Gulag, and a literary work of unparalleled creative power, insight, and conviction.

Familiar Strangers

The Georgian Diaspora and the Evolution of Soviet Empire

Familiar Strangers

A small, non-Slavic nation located far from the Soviet capital, Georgia was more closely linked with the Ottoman and Persian empires than with Russia for most of its history. One of over one hundred officially classified Soviet nationalities, Georgians represented less than 2% of the Soviet population, yet they constituted an extraordinarily successful and powerful minority. Familiar Strangers aims to explain how Georgians gained widespread prominence in the Soviet Union, yet remained a distinctive national community. Through the history of a remarkably successful group of ethnic outsiders at the heart of Soviet empire, Erik R. Scott reinterprets the course of modern Russian and Soviet history. Scott contests the portrayal of the Soviet Union as a Russian-led empire composed of separate national republics and instead argues that it was an empire of diasporas, forged through the mixing of a diverse array of nationalities behind external Soviet borders. Internal diasporas from the Soviet republics migrated throughout the socialist empire, leaving their mark on its politics, culture, and economics. Arguably the most prominent diasporic group, Georgians were the revolutionaries who accompanied Stalin in his rise to power and helped build the socialist state; culinary specialists who contributed dishes and rituals that defined Soviet dining habits; cultural entrepreneurs who perfected a flamboyant repertoire that spoke for a multiethnic society on stage and screen; traders who thrived in the Soviet Union's burgeoning informal economy; and intellectuals who ultimately called into question the legitimacy of Soviet power. Looking at the rise and fall of the Soviet Union from a Georgian perspective, Familiar Strangers offers a new way of thinking about the experience of minorities in multiethnic states, with implications far beyond the imperial borders of Russia and Eurasia.

Caucasia between the Ottoman empire and Iran, 1555-1914

Caucasia between the Ottoman empire and Iran, 1555-1914

Bedingt durch den Zerfall der Sowjetunion und die anschliessende Grundung neuer Nationalstaaten erlebte die Beschaftigung mit Kaukasien in den letzten Jahren in Deutschland, Frankreich, Grossbritannien und den USA nach vielen Jahrzehnten einen kraftigen Aufschwung. Im Mittelpunkt des wissenschaftlichen Interesses standen dabei besonders die Konfliktlagen im Kaukasien der Gegenwart und deren Vorgeschichte. Beinahe zwangslaufig ergab sich daraus eine Konzentration auf die Rolle des Reiches im Norden bei der Genese regionaler Konflikte sowie bei der Herausbildung ethnischer und nationaler Identitaten und bei der Modernisierung des Landes. Bisher wurde dabei jedoch zuwenig berucksichtigt, dass dieselbe Region schon uber sehr viel langere Zeitraume hinweg an der Peripherie der antiken Grossreiche in Kleinasien und dem iranischen Hochland gelegen war. In diesem Raum standen sich in ost-westlicher Richtung der sassanidische Iran und das Romische Reich gegenuber und rangen jahrhundertelang um Hegemonie. Spater galt dies in ahnlicher Weise fur Byzanz und das muslimische Kalifat. Mit der Entstehung des Osmanischen Reiches und dem Aufstieg der Safawiden blieb dieser geographische Raum bis in die Neuzeit hinein durch den politischen Gegensatz zweier Reiche bestimmt, die auch in konfessioneller Hinsicht die Vorherrschaft uber die kaukasischen Regionen anstrebten. Im vorliegenden Band kommen ausgewiesene Spezialisten zu Wort, die sich erfolgreich bemuhen, dieser historischen Sachlage gerecht zu werden.