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The Caucasus region, which now consists of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and parts of Russia, has a complex history, not least owing to its interactions with the surrounding nations of Europe and the Middle East and its tremendously diverse ethnic populations. One can be familiar with the history of Russia without really understanding the long and complex history of the Caucasus. King (Romanian studies, international affairs and government, Georgetown Univ.; The Black Sea: A History ) unravels the region's history from the start of Russia's involvement in the region under Ivan the Terrible to the present. Recently, a few books have been published about the Caucasus (e.g., Nicholas Griffin's Caucasus: A Journey to the Land Between Christianity and Islam ), but King's is the most comprehensive, weaving in the history of all the events from the past two centuries that shaped czarist, Soviet, and Russian relations with the region. He briefly discusses the Armenian genocide, a label that Turkey has objected to, which has recently been discussed in the U.S. Congress. King mainly raises it so as to question whether it was indeed a genocide as we define that today. This book would be a wise pick for any scholarly institution.-Harry Willems, Park City P.L., KSCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.