Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan through Peace and War / Edition 1

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Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2003

Black Garden is the definitive study of how Armenia and Azerbaijan, two southern Soviet republics, got sucked into a conflict that helped bring them to independence, bringing to an end the Soviet Union, and plaguing a region of great strategic importance. It cuts between a careful reconstruction of the history of Nagorny Karabakh conflict since 1988 and on-the-spot reporting on its 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 primary sources, such as Politburo archives.

The historical chapters trace how the conflict lay unresolved in the Soviet era; how Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders exacerbated it; how the Politiburo failed to cope with the crisis; how the war began 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Admirable, rigorous. De Waal [is] a wise and patient reporter.”

-The New York Review of Books

Foreign Affairs
Of the half dozen violent conflicts that erupted during the disintegration of the Soviet empire in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the most complicated and intractable has been the Azerbaijani-Armenian dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. Never have all the twists and turns, sad carnage, and bullheadedness on all sides been better described — or, indeed, better explained, for de Waal, by deftly combining history with carefully assembled on-the-ground detail, offers a deeper and more compelling account of the conflict than anyone before. He ferrets out critical material from an amazingly diverse set of interviews and assembles the story in a calm, firm, utterly fair-minded fashion, one likely to exercise give-no-quarters partisans on both sides.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814719459
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 8/25/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet 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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Table of Contents

Author’s Note
Preface to the Revised Edition
Two Maps, of the South Caucasus and of Nagorny Karabakh
Introduction: Crossing the Line
1. February 1988: An Armenian Revolt
2. February 1988: Azerbaijan: Puzzlement and Pogroms
3. Shusha: The Neighbors’ Tale
4. 1988–1989: An Armenian Crisis
5. Yerevan: Mysteries of the East
6. 1988–1990: An Azerbaijani Tragedy
7. Baku: An Eventful History
8. 1990–1991: A Soviet Civil War
9. Divisions: A Twentieth-Century Story
10. Hurekavank: The Unpredictable Past
11. August 1991–May 1992: War Breaks Out
12. Shusha: The Last Citadel
13. June 1992–September 1993: Escalation
14. Sabirabad: The Children’s Republic
15. September 1993–May 1994: Exhaustion
16. Stepanakert: A State Apart
17. 1994–2001: No War, No Peace
18. Sadakhlo: “They Fight, We Don’t”
19. 2001–2012: Deadlock and Estrangement
Conclusion: Seeking Peace in Karabakh

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2006

    Excellent book

    This outstanding book explains the complex situation that exists between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The explanation is brilliant, clear, easy to understand even for someone who is not familiar with this area of the world. It is a must have for anyone who wishes to know what is happening in these former Soviet Republics.

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