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Let Our Fame Be Great: Journeys among the defiant people of the Caucasus (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 3. März 2011

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Taschenbuch, 3. März 2011
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  • Taschenbuch: 512 Seiten
  • Verlag: Penguin (3. März 2011)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0141037741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141037745
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,9 x 2,3 x 19,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 363.130 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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This wonderful, moving book flashes backwards and forwards over a terrain almost impossible to survey, and manages the feat (Norman Stone)

Lively and impassioned ... a tragically neglected corner of our world (Orlando Figes)

Oliver Bullough's book is a painstaking, sensitively reported effort to knit together their [the people of the Caucasus] lost history (Wendell Steavenson Sunday Times)

A book that effortlessly mixes on-the-spot reportage and a wide-ranging history . . . Let its fame be great (The Scotsman)

Bullough brings us exciting news, presented as short, gripping stories that ... The history of their resistance and resilience has been largely unknown for two centuries. Now their stories are sung by a champion and will resound beyond their boundaries (Ian Finlayson The Times)

An impressive debut ... heartfelt and compelling ... With this impassioned volume he has struck a blow for the glory of the Caucasus and helped to give voice to the voiceless (Justin Marozzi Financial Times)

Bullough should be congratulated on his brave and tireless investigations into an under-reported region of the world (George Walden New Statesman)

Let Our Fame Be Great is a treat ... Finely bound, with excellent maps, Bullough draws you irresistibly into his narrative, fusing reportage, history and travelogue in colourful, absorbing prose ... The book is a pleasure, and most importantly, it is critical to understanding modern Russia with its worrying collective amnesia (Daniel Metcalfe Spectator)

Fascinating and ground-breaking ... Bullough has got plenty of dust, snow and mud on his boots from his travels recording the forgotten tragedies of the North Caucasus ... In the process he [has] unearthed many priceless nuggets of historic truth (Thomas de Waal OpenDemocracy)

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Oliver Bullough was born in 1977 and grew up on a sheep farm in mid-Wales. He studied modern history at Oxford University and moved to Russia in 1999. He lived in St Petersburg, Bishkek and Moscow over the next seven years, working as a journalist first for local magazines and newspapers, and then for Reuters news agency. He reported from all over Russia and the former Soviet Union, but liked nothing more than to work among the peoples and mountains of the North Caucasus.He moved back to Britain in 2006, and has spent the following years travelling for and writing this book.He now lives in east London. He likes to travel, to take photographs, to watch Welsh rugby, to cook and to read.

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0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Elbruce am 13. Juni 2013
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Thanks to Oliver Bullough we have a very authentic insight into the Caucasus. The mosaic of different cultures, people and languages. The tales and stories of the people in the Caucasus. This is a book which I highly recommend for reading. Especially because not many know about the people and the variety of different ethnics in the Caucasus.
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0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von wnm am 19. März 2013
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
--- Highly informative and entertaining at the same time. Probably the best contemporary book on the subject "Northern Caucasus"! ---
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 14 Rezensionen
14 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Let Our Fame Be Great 15. November 2010
Von Patrick McGuire - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This History of the Caucuses has been very well written and researched. Oliver Bullough gives a great picture of Chechnya especially during the 1990's with war against Russia. But Bullough also delves into the history of the entire region in a most readable and delightful manner. He does a very good job of explaining the many different peoples, cultures and religions. He also talks about the Diaspora and the many groups and their forced migrations under the Czars, the Soviet Union and Russia. These people are not easy to understand as knowledge of each group, religion, culture and language will go a long way to a better understanding. Bullough goes a long way of solving this mystery. It makes me glad that I found this book and was able to read because here is many groups of people that we are called after (Caucasian) and we in the West have no idea what they are like and how little in common we have with them. I recommend this book to anyone who is serious about History.
15 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Intimate, effective, contemporary history of this dangerous region 24. Oktober 2010
Von Paul E. Richardson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Over the years, we have reviewed several fine books on the Caucasus. This new work by Bullough joins the ranks of Babchenko's One Soldier's War and Seierstad's moving The Angel of Grozny: Orphans of a Forgotten War as a work that is both essential and good.

The difference with Bullough's work, however, is that he takes on all of the Caucasus, not just Chechnya. He is a journalist who has been there, on the ground, in Chechen refugee camps, at the Beslan massacre, walking around villages of resettled Balkars. His goal is to track down and retell the stories of peoples displaced (and sometimes replaced) by wars and deportations. The Circassians, Balkars, Nogais, Ingush, Karachais and others all have their voices heard here. And he tells the stories by traveling there, by meeting people and relating to us first-hand what he sees, what the air smells like, how people's lives - upended generations ago - are still unsettled and unjust.

Of course, to support all this, Bullough paints in plenty of back-story, on the history of each nation's majesty or tragedy, on how things have gotten to where they are. But it is never dry or boring, because Bullough writes as if he is there, learning everything right alongside us. The result is a very intimate, effective, contemporary history of a part of the world that is little understood and now rarely traveled to. Invaluable.

As reviewed in Russian Life
14 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
How much do you know about the peoples of the Caucasus? 7. März 2011
Von R. M. Peterson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Do you, for example, know about the Circassian diaspora? Stalin's ethnic cleansing of the mountain Turks (the Karachais, Chechens, Inguish, and Balkars)? Shamil, the charismatic 19th-Century Sufi leader of the Dagestanis? The historical roots of the mayhem and terrorism that have convulsed Chechnya, spilling over into Beslan and Moscow?

Before reading this book, I knew distressingly little. For much of modern Western history, the peoples of the Caucasus (the mountains that stretch between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea) have been isolated and ignored. But for more than two centuries, Russia has waged war against them, alternately trying to subordinate them, uproot them, or exterminate them. In 1864, in "the first modern genocide on European soil," Russia drove about 1.2 million Circassians from their native lands, killing about 300,000 in the process. In 1943 and 1944, Stalin massacred or exported to the Russian steppes the native Turkish peoples of the North Caucasus, and then expunged them from the official encyclopedia of the peoples of the Soviet Union. After letting the Chechans return during the 1980s, the Soviets reversed course and in 1994 invaded Chechnya, igniting the violence and disorder that have continued since. And those episodes are the more notorious ones - the tip of the iceberg of the hell that has been the Caucasus.

Oliver Bullough is a British journalist, who was introduced to the relatively unknown history of the peoples of the Caucasus in covering Chechnyan terrorism in Moscow. His telling of their story in LET OUR FAME BE GREAT is more journalistic than conventional history. As a result, it is more engaging than all but the very best-written history books. Bullough incorporates into his book accounts of his own travels to the Caucasus, anecdotes from extensive research among little-known historical sources (many written in Russian), and his numerous interviews with the victims of violence or their descendants, some located in the Caucasus but many now scattered throughout the Middle East and Eastern Europe, from Israel and Turkey to Austria and Poland. By so doing, Bullough imbues the book with a personal dimension that accentuates the senselessness and tragedy that comprises so much of the history of this backwater region. Stalin, ignominiously but with a sad kernel of truth, said, "One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic." This book helps convert the cold statistics back into individual tragedies.

The one consistent thread throughout the book is the abominable conduct of the Russians/Soviets. At bottom, LET OUR FAME BE GREAT is a tale of Russian cruelty and duplicity, brutality and mendacity. This nation's treatment of Native Americans has been abhorrent, but it pales in scale and savagery to Russia's treatment of the mountain peoples of the Caucasus. And, by and large, the Russia of today refuses to acknowledge that history. It engages instead in massive historical denial and revisionism, which in turn influences how the rest of the world perceives the region. Ironically, the 2014 Winter Olympics will be based in Soshi, with the Olympic flame situated close to the precise spot that the last free Circassians surrendered to the Russian Army 150 years earlier, in 1864. (In opposing the selection of Soshi, a Circassian activist asked whether the IOC would even consider Auschwitz Birkenau as a possible site for hosting the Olympics.) It will be interesting to see whether the not-so-distant genocidal history of the region is even mentioned in any of the coverage of the Olympics.

LET OUR FAME BE GREAT has its flaws. It is the result of prodigious research, both secondary and first-hand, but the sheer volume of material tends to swamp the organization and presentation. There are a few too many instances of overly melodramatic or clichéd writing. But, notwithstanding those flaws, the book reads easily enough and it deserves five stars for shedding so much light on this neglected corner of history and the world.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
How NOT to Conduct a War on Terror; Heartbreaking, Educational, Recommended 29. Juli 2013
Von Danusha V. Goska - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
In the afternoon of April 15, 2013, I was listening to the radio. An announcer interrupted the broadcast to report that there had been a blast at the Boston Marathon. He was careful not to attribute the bombing to any one group - because we are all afraid of appearing to stereotype one group as terrorists. Indeed, he insisted, the Boston blast might have been caused by a ruptured gas pipe. After Chechen refugees Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were identified as the Boston Marathon bombers, one of my students said to me, "See? Everyone thought it was Muslim terrorists. But now it turns out it was Russians!"

My student should read Oliver Bullough's "Let Our Fame Be Great: Journeys Among the Defiant People of the Caucasus." So should many people.

"Let Our Fame Be Great" is a heartbreaking, informative, recommended book. I was often in tears while reading it. I'm very glad I learned what Bullough had to teach. LOFBG is a travelogue through the history, literature, and current events of the Caucasus. This little-known corner of the world should be better known.

I have Circassian and Armenian friends. I've been to Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey, three countries bordering the Black Sea. I remember reading about the Russian destruction of Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, in the New York Times. Even so, I knew virtually nothing about the material Bullough introduces in his book.

The Caucasus is a spit of land between the Black and the Caspian Seas, between Russia to the north and Turkey and Iran to the south. When Turkey was Europe's "sick man" and its power was declining, Russia moved south to fill the vacuum. Russia wanted access to the Black Sea, because its own ports freeze over in winter. Through brute force, Russia attempted to control or even eliminate the scattered Muslim ethnic groups living in the Caucasus. Russia did this as a czarist empire, as the Soviet Union, and as post-Soviet Russia.

Bullough depicts the Russians in the Caucasus behaving, more or less, as American settlers behaved toward the Native Americans. We want your land, and we will do what we have to do to you to get your land.

Another comparison: historian Anne Applebaum compared what the Russians did to the Caucasus to what the Nazis did to Poland.

Bullough divides his book up into chapters devoted to various Caucasus ethnic groups: Circassians, Mountain Turks, and Chechens. For each group, he works through literature going back hundreds of years, historical accounts, travelogues, state documents, and contemporary accounts. This is a massive amount of material, reduced to brief excerpts.

With the Circassians, for example, Bullough quotes literature written by Russian authors like Ivan Turgenev, travel accounts by British representatives toying with the idea of aiding the Circassians against the Russians, quotes from Russian military leaders attacking the Circassians, and encounters with modern-day Circassians living in diaspora in Israel.

Bullough has a gift for selecting particularly heart-rending quotes, and he uses many of these quotes as chapter titles: "The Caucasus Mountains are sacred to me," "Extermination along would keep them quiet," "The Circassians do not appear on this list," "Liquidate the bandit group," "It was all for nothing," and "I have become no one."

One anecdote Bullough recounts tells of one Caucasus woman, Khozemat Khabilayeva, who, as a child, was part of a Soviet-ordered mass deportation of her homeland. Her dog, Khola, tried to save her family, and he met with a sad fate that Khabilayeva, an old woman now, wept over, decades after his death. There are many such stories in this book, the individual droplets that add up to an ocean wave of history.

Because I was so unfamiliar with this history, I did question if Bullough was too sympathetic to the Caucasus peoples, and too hard on the Russians. Bullough, though, includes actual quotes by Russian leaders voicing genocidal intent toward Caucasus people. He cites one Russian leader who decorated his home with the decapitated heads of Circassians.

Too, Bullough does report on unappealing aspects of Caucasus culture. Circassians, for example, had the custom of selling their own children into slavery. So many Circassian daughters were sold into sex slavery that the reputation of the beautiful Circassian spread all the way to PT Barnum's sideshow. Bullough describes the 2004 Belsan hostage crisis as a complete horror.

I compared what I know of Russian behavior to my own ethnic group, Poles. In Poland, czarist Russia and Soviet Russia deported massive numbers of people, redrew maps, criminalized the identity of oppressed people, executed large numbers of people in order to terrorize populations. Russia, it seems, did to the Caucasus what it did to the Poles. Bullough's account is all too believable.

Russia plans to hold the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, one site of its genocide against the Circassians. A Caucasus terrorist leader, Doku Umarov, issued a threat against these games. Terrorism is wrong. The Sochi games should be protested, in peaceful, educational, and solidarity-building ways.

Bullough includes photos of the bones of Circassian refugees found lying in the dirt in Akchakale, Turkey. Circassian activists should take these bones from Turkey, by boat across the Black Sea, retracing the route their ancestors took, and bury them in Sochi, with the stated goal of building a genocide monument in Sochi. They should film the entire trip. No doubt the Russians would attempt to stop them. Their peaceful protest would educate the world about their history.

I wonder, after reading LOFBG, why no one seems to care about Russia's human rights abuses against Caucasus Muslims. Bullough writes of Khasan Bibulatov, a Chechen man who was horribly tortured by Russians. Zarema Muzhakhoyeva is one of the most pathetic human beings I've ever read about - her life story is right out of an over-the-top Dickens orphanage. She gave up her suicide bomb mission, cooperated with the Russian police, and was still jailed for twenty years. I wonder if so little attention is paid to victims of Russian oppression in the Caucasus because Russia committed many of these crimes as a communist government, and leftists don't want to remind the world that communists were the last century's most prolific murderers.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A riveting account of century-spanning conflict in the Caucasus 12. Februar 2013
Von William Courson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
"Let Our Fame be Great" is a thoroughly researched account of the Russian invasions and occupation of its southern Caucasus mountains, a tale of numbing cruelty the scale of which staggers the imagination. This is a tale of Chauvinism, cruelty and duplicity, of imperial power without check. America's oppression of its native peoples and apartheid South Africa's mistreatment of its black millions have been abhorrent, but they pale in scope and savagery to Russia's treatment of the mountain peoples on its southern border.

By and large, the Russia of today refuses to acknowledge that history, instead engaging instead in massive denial and wanton revisionism, which in turn have influenced the fashion in which the rest of the world perceives the troubled region and Russia's place in it. This historical revisionism is redolent of the denials of those who dispute the historicity of the Second World War's holocaust. Russian atrocities in Chechnya, the recent war between Russia and Georgia, the aspirations toward independence of the peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and the horrors in Nagorno-Karabakh are its baleful legacy.

In this work, British journalist Oliver Bullough explores the fascinating tapestry of cultures, religions and languages in the mountain fastnesses of the Caucasus where Europe, Asia, and the Mideast intersect in uneasy proximity. The author traces the histories of the Circassians, the Mountain Turks and other peoples dispossessed of their ancestral homelands and sent into exile over the last two centuries of unremitting conflict and recounts how they have fared in their exile.

A well-organized, highly readable collection of archival data, personal observations and eyewitness accounts, Let Our Fame Be Great tells a compelling story of peoples who have been pushed to the limits of survival and have nonetheless fought on.
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