A Garrison Tangle

F. Tennyson Neely

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Publisher
F. Tennyson Neely
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Published on
Dec 31, 1896
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Pages
280
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Language
English
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This content is DRM free.
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Charles King
Based on extensive research in multiple languages, this book is an innovative and indispensable guide to the history, cultures, and politics of the fascinating Black Sea area and its future at the heart of Europe and Eurasia. Charles King breaks new ground in demonstrating how a region often thought of as a zone of timeless conflict has experienced long periods of integration and co-operation. - ;The area from the Balkans to the Caucasus is often seen as a zone of timeless conflict, a frontier region at the meeting place of mutually antagonistic civilizations. But in this pathbreaking work, Charles King investigates the myriad of connections that have made the Black Sea more of a bridge than a boundary, linking religious communities, linguistic groups, empires, and later, nations and states. For some parts of the world, the idea of waterways as defining elements in human history is uncontroversial. Mention the Mediterranean or the South Pacific, and images of mutual influence come to mind. Those images come less readily for the Black Sea-a region that has experienced ethnic conflict, economic collapse, and interstate rivalries over the last two decades. But in the recent past, the idea of the Black Sea as a distinct unit was self-evident. From its formation some seven or eight millennia ago to the political revolutions and environmental crisis of the late twentieth century, the sea has been a zone of interaction - sometimes cordial, sometimes conflictual - among the peoples and states around its shores. To the ancient Greeks, the sea lay literally at the edge of the known world. In time, the growth of Greek trading colonies linked all the coasts into a web of economic relationships. In the Middle Ages, the sea was tied to the great commercial cities of Venice and Genoa. Later, the Ottomans used the region's resources to build their own empire. In the late eighteenth century, the sea was opened to foreign commerce, and the seacoasts were part of a genuinely global system of trade. After the collapse of the Russian and Ottoman empires, the coastline was carved up among a number of newly formed nation-states, with each asserting a right to a piece of the coast and a section of the coastal waters. Today, efforts to resurrect the idea of the Black Sea as a unified region are once again on the international agenda. Based on extensive research in multiple languages, this book is an indispensable guide to the history, cultures, and politics of this fascinating sea and its future at the heart of Europe and Eurasia. - ;Well footnoted and fluently written...a useful and accessible work - with the Sea itself quite properly at the centre of attention. - Robin Milner-Gulland, History Today;In this timely book Charles King provides a stretchy timeline for the murky pool (once a lake, now a tideless sea) which has always sat on the edge of everything: Europe, Asia, civilisation, barbarism, us and other. - The Guardian Review;This is an essential book for anyone who feels they ought to know about what used to be called "the eastern question" and worries, secretly, that it is too late to start finding out. - The Guardian;A solid work by an academic historian, writing for the general educated public. He is particularly good on little known or forgotten episodes - the part played by Westerners in the development of the area. King is well placed to see through the myths of nationalists ... he has a good eye also for the victims of history. Kings work has all the virtues of good American scholarship ... vast array of sources, ... a transatlantic detachment, and the recent and very welcome fashion for elegant prose. - Andrew Mango, TLS;The collapse of the Soviet Union restored two great geostrategic arenas long buried in now-defunct empires or pushed to the margin by Cold War alignments. The first is Inner Asia, an immense hinterland stretching from the Chinese borderlands, across the Siberian south, to the Hindu Kush. The second is the Black Sea, a junction where the Balkans, Central Asia, and the Middle East meet. (Say no more.) To appreciate what this re-embodiment means one needs a special vantage point. King traces the Black Sea's many political incarnations from the Greeks and Scythians to the Romans, the Byzantine Christians, the Ottomans, the Russians, and the tumult of the twentieth century. Even when fractured and populated with weak and troubled states (as now), the region, King argues in this mind-broadening book, coheres-and deserves to be thought about and approached accordingly. - ;...essential reading for all who are dealing with the Black Sea history and archaeology. - International Journal of Maritime History;The collapse of the Soviet Union restored two great geostrategic arenas long buried in now-defunct empires or pushed to the margin by Cold War alignments. The first is Inner Asia, an immense hinterland stretching from the Chinese borderlands, across the Siberian south, to the Hindu Kush. The second is the Black Sea, a junction where the Balkans, Central Asia, and the Middle East meet. (Say no more.) To appreciate what this re-embodiment means one needs a special vantage point. King traces the Black Sea's many political incarnations from the Greeks and Scythians to the Romans, the Byzantine Christians, the Ottomans, the Russians, and the tumult of the twentieth century. Even when fractured and populated with weak and troubled states (as now), the region, King argues in this mind-broadening book, coheres-and deserves to be thought about and approached accordingly. - Foreign Affairs
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