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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Read for all those Interested in the Caucasus, 28 May 2002
This review is from: To Catch a Tartar (Hardcover)
Chris Bird's knowledge of Cauacasian wars past and present is quite remarkable. I would very much recommend this book to anyone interested in the 1994-96 war in Chechnya, which the author has documented. The book may lack the emotional engagement of journalist-writers like Anthony Lloyd but it more than makes up for this with a wealth of strong historical insights, which place the cycle of violence in the Cauacsus into perspective. The desperate vicious circle of war in Chechnya with all its tragic consequences is eloquently put forward and analysed. Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to recent historical events in the Caucasus, 27 July 2009
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Spilsbury (UK, Liverpool) - See all my reviews
This review is from: To Catch a Tartar: Notes from the Caucasus (Paperback)
This is a wonderful first book by any standards, by a man who was at key events of the Caucasus's recent tumultuous history.
This book gives a taste of the seedy, chaotic dark underbelly of the Post-Soviet period with descriptions of Moscow, Tbilisi and of course Chechnya, during its first war in the early 90's.
Bird draws a wealth of interesting little known facts of historical vital events over the last century. Of interest for example, are the Oil Concessions of Tapa Chermoev to the British at the turn of the 20th Century. Or the, as yet unfulfilled, prophecies of the Chechen elders, that the British will one day rescue and administer Chechnya for a short time, the event being portended by the arrival of a Black Bull.
The book is a compelling read, hard to put down. The style is Modern Journalism , but without some of the irritating influences of Modern British speak that can sometimes be detected in writers like Dalrymple or Sebag-Montefiore.
Bird is modest and understated, yet his passion and deep feeling for the region is evidenced no more clearly than in choosing to emabrk on the noble career of medicine, and more specifically the care of Children. This speaks volumes of the mans integrity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read, 26 Jun 2007
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This review is from: To Catch a Tartar: Notes from the Caucasus (Paperback)
Chris Bird charts his pioneering post Soviet era journey as a journalist with his young family from Russia to Georgia and gets caught up in the Chechen war of 1994. As well as describing events and characters he sets both the war and the wider Caucasus region into historical context from recent times back to those of Lermontov, Tolstoy and beyond. I loved the notes, quotes, & proverbs at the beginning of each chapter. It is well illustrated with maps and the hardback features photos by his colleague and friend, Magnum photographer Thomas Dworzak (I bought it in hardback for me & paperback for a friend). Very good read.
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To Catch a Tartar: Notes from the Caucasus
To Catch a Tartar: Notes from the Caucasus by Chris Bird (Paperback - 4 Sep 2003)
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