An acclaimed, award-winning book on a fascinating subject, recently revised and updated by the author, with a brand new jacket. The Black Sea is at once homage to an ocean and its shores, and an amazingly readable meditation on Eurasian history from the earliest times to the present, evoking the culture, history and politics of the volatile ...
An acclaimed, award-winning book on a fascinating subject, recently revised and updated by the author, with a brand new jacket. The Black Sea is at once homage to an ocean and its shores, and an amazingly readable meditation on Eurasian history from the earliest times to the present, evoking the culture, history and politics of the volatile region surrounding the Black Sea. Ascherson recalls the world of Herodotus and Aeschylus; Ovid's place of exile; the decline and fall of Byzantium; the Christian Goths; the Tatar Khanates; the growth of Russian power and the centuries of war between Ottoman and Russian empires. And, in our own century, the terrors of Stalinism and its fascist enemy, striving for control of these colourful and complex shores. In this story of Greeks, Scythians, Samatians, Huns, Goths, Turks, Russians and Poles, we come to know and understand the sea where Europe ended and "barbarism" was born. "From the Trade Paperback edition."
Publishers Weekly, 1995-08-14 If Ascherson (The Polish August) cannot pinpoint precisely where Xenophon's 10,000 soldiers were when, lost on the march home from Persia 2600 years ago, they saw the sea and thought they were home, there is little else he does not tell us in this exotic and seductive history of the Black Sea. From his tales of its peculiar compositionŠin the depths beneath its upper stream of living water, it is the world's largest dead seaŠto those of the myriad of peoples who have inhabited its coasts throughout time, his stories seem more fabulous than the Arabian Nights. Ascherson tells of obscure tribes, familiar heroes, lost languages, current politics and ancient hostilities as poisonous as the depths of the Black Sea itself. Around the once ``monstrously abundant'' Black Sea, peoples who disliked each other lived together, at best uneasily, at worst at war: Goths, Romans, Germans, Greeks, Turks, Jews, Russians, Persians, Asians and others. ``My sense of Black Sea life,'' concludes Ascherson, ``a sad one, is that latent mistrust between different cultures is immortal... not a helpful model for the `multi-ethnic society' of our hopes and dreams.'' (Oct.)
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