Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan through Peace and War

NYU Press
Free sample

“Brilliant.”—Time



“Admirable, rigorous. De Waal [is] a wise and patient reporter.”—The New York Review of Books





“Never have all the twists and turns, sad carnage, and bullheadedness on all side been better described—or indeed, better explained…Offers a deeper and more compelling account of the conflict than anyone before.”—Foreign Affairs






Since its publication in 2003, the first edition of Black Garden has become the definitive study of how Armenia and
Azerbaijan, two southern Soviet republics, were pulled into a conflict that
helped bring them to independence, spell the end the Soviet Union, and plunge a
region of great strategic importance into a decade of turmoil. This important
volume is both a careful reconstruction of the history of the Nagorny Karabakh
conflict since 1988 and on-the-spot reporting of the convoluted aftermath. Part
contemporary history, part travel book, part political analysis, the book is
based on six months traveling through the south Caucasus, more than 120
original interviews in the region, Moscow, and Washington, and unique
historical primary sources, such as Politburo archives. The historical chapters
trace how the conflict lay unresolved in the Soviet era; how Armenian and
Azerbaijani societies unfroze it; how the Politiburo failed to cope with the
crisis; how the war was fought and ended; how the international community
failed to sort out the conflict. What emerges is a complex and subtle portrait
of a beautiful and fascinating region, blighted by historical prejudice and
conflict.






The revisedand
updated 10th-year anniversary edition includes a new forward, a new
chapter covering developments up to-2011, such as the election of new
presidents in both countries, Azerbaijan’s oil boom and the new arms race in
the region, and a new conclusion, analysing the reasons for the intractability
of the conflict and whether there are any prospects for its resolution. Telling
the story of the first conflict to shake Mikhail Gorbachev's Soviet Union, Black Garden remains a central account
of the reality of the post-Soviet world.

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About the author

Thomas de Waal has reported on Russia and the Caucasus since 1993 for the Moscow Times, The Times of London, The Economist, and the BBC World Service. He is currently Senior Associate, Caucasus at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His publications include, most recently, The Caucasus: An Introduction.

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Additional Information

Publisher
NYU Press
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Published on
Jul 8, 2013
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9780814785782
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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This exciting new text brings together in one volume an overview of the many reflections on how we might address the problems and limitations of a state-centred approach in the discipline of International Relations (IR).

The book is structured into chapters on key concepts, with each providing an introduction to the concept for those new to the field of critical politics – including undergraduate and postgraduate students – as well as drawing connections between concepts and thinkers that will be provocative and illuminating for more established researchers in the field. They give an overview of core ideas associated with the concept; the critical potential of the concept; and key thinkers linked to the concept, seeking to address the following questions:

How has the concept traditionally been understood? How has the concept come to be understood in critical thinking? How is the concept used in interrogating the limits of state centrism? What different possibilities for engaging with international relations have been envisioned through the concept? Why are such possibilities for alternative thinking about international relations important? What are some key articles and volumes related to the concept which readers can go for further research?

Drawing together some of the key thinkers in the field of critical International Relations and including both established and emerging academics located in Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America, this book is a key resource for students and scholars alike.

In this fascinating book, noted journalist Thomas de Waal--author of the highly acclaimed Black Garden--makes the case that while the Caucasus is often treated as a sub-plot in the history of Russia, or as a mere gateway to Asia, the five-day war in Georgia, which flared into a major international crisis in 2008, proves that this is still a combustible region, whose inner dynamics and history deserve a much more complex appreciation from the wider world. In The Caucasus, de Waal provides this richer, deeper, and much-needed appreciation, one that reveals that the South Caucasus--Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, and their many smaller regions, enclaves, and breakaway entities--is a fascinating and distinct world unto itself. Providing both historical background and an insightful analysis of the period after 1991, de Waal sheds light on how the region has been scarred by the tumultuous scramble for independence and the three major conflicts that broke out with the end of the Soviet Union--Nagorny Karabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia. The book examines the region as a major energy producer and exporter; offers a compelling account of the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the rise of Mikheil Saakashvili, and the August 2008 war; and considers the failure of the South Caucasus, thus far, to become a single viable region. In addition, the book features a dozen or so "boxes" which provide brief snapshots of such fascinating side topics as the Kurds, Turkish-Armenian rapprochement, the promotion of the region as the "Soviet Florida," and the most famous of all Georgians, Stalin. The Caucasus delivers a vibrantly written and timely account of this turbulent region, one that will prove indispensable for all concerned with world politics. It is, as well, a stimulating read for armchair travelers and for anyone curious about far-flung corners of the world.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, NAMED BY THE TIMES AS ONE OF "6 BOOKS TO HELP UNDERSTAND TRUMP'S WIN" AND SOON TO BE A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD

"You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist

"A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal

"Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history.

A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

The destruction of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-16 was the greatest atrocity of World War I. Around one million Armenians were killed, and the survivors were scattered across the world. Although it is now a century old, the issue of what most of the world calls the Armenian Genocide of 1915 is still a live and divisive issue that mobilizes Armenians across the world, shapes the identity and politics of modern Turkey, and has consumed the attention of U.S. politicians for years. In Great Catastrophe, the eminent scholar and reporter Thomas de Waal looks at the aftermath and politics of the Armenian Genocide and tells the story of recent efforts by courageous Armenians, Kurds, and Turks to come to terms with the disaster as Turkey enters a new post-Kemalist era. The story of what happened to the Armenians in 1915-16 is well-known. Here we are told the "history of the history" and the lesser-known story of what happened to Armenians, Kurds, and Turks in the century that followed. De Waal relates how different generations tackled the issue of the "Great Catastrophe" from the 1920s until the failure of the Protocols signed by independent Armenia and Turkey in 2010. Quarrels between diaspora Armenians supporting and opposing the Soviet Union broke into violence and culminated with the murder of an archbishop in 1933. The devising of the word "genocide," the growth of modern identity politics, and the 50th anniversary of the massacres re-energized a new generation of Armenians. In Turkey the issue was initially forgotten, only to return to the political agenda in the context of the Cold War and an outbreak of Armenian terrorism. More recently, Turkey has started to confront its taboos. In an astonishing revival of oral history, the descendants of tens of thousands of "Islamized Armenians," who have been in the shadows since 1915, have begun to reemerge and reclaim their identities. Drawing on archival sources, reportage and moving personal stories, de Waal tells the full story of Armenian-Turkish relations since the Genocide in all its extraordinary twists and turns. He looks behind the propaganda to examine the realities of a terrible historical crime and the divisive "politics of genocide" it produced. The book throws light not only on our understanding of Armenian-Turkish relations but also of how mass atrocities and historical tragedies shape contemporary politics.
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