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Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus

by Kaplan, Robert D.

  • ISBN: 9780375502729
  • ISBN10: 0375502726

Eastward to Tartary: Travels in the Balkans, the Middle East, and the Caucasus

by Kaplan, Robert D.

  • List Price: $26.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House Trade
  • Publish date: 01/01/2000
  • ISBN: 9780375502729
  • ISBN10: 0375502726
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Description: In the closing years of the 19th century, the Great Powers -- Great Britain, Russia, France and Austria-Hungary -- began pecking at the corpse of the Ottoman Empire like vultures circling a wounded prey, nibbling off territories in the Balkans and the Caucasus in a land grab that resulted in the First World War. That war redrew the map of the Middle East, creating modern Turkey and the states of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, the Kingdom of Transjordan and the protectorate of Palestine.

The collapse of the Soviet Empire has brought us back to those years before WWI, as the map of Central Asia, the Balkans and the Middle East is once again being radically rewritten in blood, in a contest between ideology and power, nationalism and religious upheaval, money and opportunism. In "Eastward to Tartary," Kaplan returns to the Balkans for the first time since Balkan Ghosts and goes on to fill in the rest of the story. As in Balkan Ghosts, his emphasis is on people and history and on the shape of things to come, as he takes us through Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria to Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Israel before striking out east across Anatolia into the Caucasus and Central Asia -- to the oil rich lands of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, where speculators, oil men, crooks and gangsters are locked in a dangerous dance for spoils.

Kaplan's vision of the future of the region will be hugely controversial: he predicts the meltdown of Lebanon, a ruthless partition of the Balkans, and a bloody future for Central Asia, whose war in Chechnya is only the beginning. Kaplan is a master stylist, as persuasive as he is eloquent in his descriptions. The lands he describes and the characters he encounters in thismagisterial work will remain etched forever in your mind.

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