Caucasus: a journey to the land between Christianity and Islam

Nicholas Griffin
University of Chicago Press, 2004 – History – 240 pages

A rugged land between the Black and Caspian seas, the Caucasus is a battle ground for a fascinating and formidable clash of cultures: Russia on one side, the predominantly Muslim mountains on the other. In Caucasus, award-winning author Nicholas Griffin recounts his journey to this war torn region to explore the roots of today’s conflict, centering his travelogue on Imam Shamil, the great nineteenth century Muslim warrior who commanded a quarter-century resistance against invading Russian forces. Delving deep into the Caucasus, Griffin transcends the headlines trumpeting Chechen insurgency to give the land and its conflicts dimension: evoking the weather, terrain, and geography alongside national traditions, religious affiliations, and personal legends as barriers to peaceful co-existence. In focusing his tale on Shamil while retracing his steps, Griffin compellingly demonstrates the way history repeats itself.

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