"This book, though controversial in perspective, is an anthropological tour de force. Through detailed description, Tishkov enables readers to see behind the banal generalities around such terms as self-determination. The book puts a foreign world--ethnic and national violence--under a microscope and reports on those details that are unfortunately ...Read More"This book, though controversial in perspective, is an anthropological tour de force. Through detailed description, Tishkov enables readers to see behind the banal generalities around such terms as self-determination. The book puts a foreign world--ethnic and national violence--under a microscope and reports on those details that are unfortunately lost in all too many informed discussions."--David D. Laitin, author of "Identity in Formation: The Russian-Speaking Populations in the Near Abroad" "Non-Russian students of ethnicity have long admired Valery Tishkov as a supremely knowledgeable specialist in the subject, an acerbic critic of careless description, and a superb organizer of research. Here, however, we discover a sympathetic observer, historical analyst, and concerned citizen who deplores war's destructiveness. Tishkov brings Chechen voices to eloquent witness against sham and obfuscation."--Charles Tilly, author of "Durable Inequality" "This is a most valuable book on an important subject about which Americans know little. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the all-important U.S./Russia relationship as well as to general students of international affairs."--Thomas Graham Jr., former U.S. ambassador and author of "Disarmament Sketches: Three Decades of Arms Control and International Law" "This book confronts the difficult question of why such conflicts arise--why do people who have lived side by side start killing one another? Some explain this in terms of history, citing innate hatred, the incompatibility of civilizations, or the unusual social structure of the rival nationalities. Some say the war in Chechnya was bought and paid for. But the question remains of why it is so easy to lead a society into conflict: why people take up arms or find themselves unable to oppose the initiators and perpetrators of violence. Tishkov's explanation has important theoretical and political significance and deserves the attention of an international audience." --from the foreword by Mikhail S. GorbachevRead Less
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