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Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power Paperback – June 10, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
But the book has serious problems: Lieven assumes his readers are as knowledgeable as him. For instance, Lieven talks of all these important figures in the Chechnyan war, but often doesn't bother to introduce them. He doesn't explain who General Dudayev was until about 50 pages through the book. The legendary exploits of a great chechnyan rebel, Shamil, aren't discussed till near the very end of the book. Lieven doesn't discuss the history of Russian involvement in chechnya till two-thirds of the way through the book.
There's no damn map, so often you have no idea what took place where.
If you want a good short introduction to the chechnya conflict, this isn't it. You're better off starting off with something a little simpler, that actually tells the story in a relatively linear and straightforward manner.
The Rule of Law;
and Human Rights.
There is very little that this book does not at some point find a way to address. That is my only real problem with the text: Like its author, it has a way of involving many different ideas that may, or may not, actually hold together to make a compelling argument. However, unlike other authors' attempts to weave this kind of tapestry, this book succeeds more often that it confounds.
I think it is the first book I have read that accurately captured just what was going on in Chechnya in terms of what had happened in Moscow. This is more than a typical piece of modern war-correspondent work. This is an author who understands both sides of the conflict, and not only in terms of the tactical and strategic pictures. More than a blow-by-blow account of Russian brutality (which it contains as well), it moves beyond the normal, facile explanations of Russian behavior in the Caucasus.
Would the normal view of an expansionist Russian still account for the ways in which the first Chechen campaign was conducted? Only partly, and it would be wholly unsatisfying to stop there. To answer this question requires a deeper understanding of modern Russia than you would get from the traditional explanations coming from Conquest et. al.
What Lieven has done here is to capture more than the status on the ground. He has achieved the first real and complex portrait of the Russia of Boris Yeltsin, the Russian army in its post-Soviet incarnation, and one of the best examples of the kind of analysis that needs to be done on modern armies who must confront ancient societies.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I never thought I would say that I was ashamed to have read / purchased a book, but here's the first. Read morePublished on December 30, 2008 by Gregory M. Boris II
I am an avid fan of war memoirs and did not enjoy this book. It was a way too complex read of a war that most people have little knowledge of. First book I ever returned to Amazon.Published on July 25, 2007 by Magic Twilight
This 1998 book examining the war between Russia and its breakaway republic Chechnya is a product of great expertise and tremendous thoroughness. Read morePublished on July 12, 2006 by Daniel H. Bigelow
This book is an example of how embarrassing it can be for an author to go out on a limb with his prognostications. Read morePublished on November 3, 2003
Undoubtedly a fine work. Comprehensive, Incisive and written with great passion. However it does assume at least a passing aquaintance with the actors, thus for the beginner it... Read morePublished on January 30, 2002
Artist like Heidi Bradner come along once in a blue moon. She manages to capture her subjects in just raw simplicity that screams of pure, and unadulterated talent. Read morePublished on February 22, 2000 by Carlo Rodney Rozenblad
Reading this book was like being on a rollercoaster of Russia's descent into oblivion, a descent that is far from over. Read morePublished on September 10, 1999