Georgian Themes

“Like the majority of mountaineers, Anzor regarded the tensions between Georgians and Chechens in his own peculiar way. He felt that those Georgians who had conquered the Chechens had been deceived by false promises, and that those mountaineer Georgians who had formerly been the Chechens’ friends had been forced to fight against them.”
Three tales of the Caucasus by Aleksandre Qazbegi, one of the most prescient and gifted chroniclers of the Georgian encounter with colonial modernity.
“White smoke ascended from the edges of the fields. This was the city of Dzaug, which had been changed by the Russians into Vladikavkaz. After a difficult two-week journey, the sheep consumed the grass greedily.”
“There were no limits to the greed of Chechnya’s new colonial administration. To possess all of the Chechens’ lands, this new administration had to have Chechnya without Chechens”.
“Gocha lifted his head and said in a voice that resembled thunder: ‘Stone them both!’ The people cheered when they heard his words, and the color drained from the Ossetians’ faces.” 

"In the Romanov Empire the officer corps proved to be the most efficient tool not only for the acculturation and consolidation of the imperial elite, but later for the Russification of representatives of the Baltic German, Georgian, and even Polish nobility as well."
The nation-building processes within the Ottoman Empire are examined in parallel with related trajectories in other empires in Europe.
"The CUP, or Committee for Union and Progress (Ittihadve Terakki Cemiyeti), the so-called Young Turks, in their search for allies against the Russians, also supported Christian groups such as the Georgians and Ukrainians whom they saw as potential allies. Ottoman policy toward the Caucasus was dominated by considerations of realpolitik, not identity."
"The top nine army commanders of the Young Turks counted two Arabs, two Albanians, two Circassians, a Georgian, a Tatar, and a Bosnian, although the language of command was Turkish." 

A CEU Press publication that offers the excitement of a historic thriller. The true motivations of Gorbachev and other global politicians as revealed in 122 top-level Soviet, European and American archival records from 1989. Find a relevant excerpt below. 

Together with twenty-eight more post-communist transition countries, the political and economic performance of Ukraine is also examined as part of a search of varieties of transition models. 

The author is Georgian and half of the book is on Georgia: comparing the relationship between globalization and contemporary nationalism in Georgia and the Basque country, or rather Sakartvelo and Euskadi. 

Georgia and Georgians have been discussed in a number of CEU Press monographs and edited volumes on the Russian and Soviet empires, including the following:

  • The case of Georgia is a recurrent issue both in the book on nationalism in the Romanov empire, and in the collective work on 19th century empires; 
  • CEU Press presents Kalmykia to the English reading world – including references to Georgia; 
  • No book can be written on Stalin, without frequent mentions of Georgia; 
  • A book on forced migrations in the USSR affected the land of Sakartvelo and its people, too; 
  • No part of the empire was exempt from food shortages – was the climate to blame? 

Before Sabanadze’s work, independent Georgia received (partial) attention in books on the post-soviet realities: 

Excerpt from Masterpieces of History:

Document No. 58: Session of the CC CPSU Politburo, April 20, 1989.
(Gorbachev was out of the country on April 9 when Soviet forces cracked down on pro-independence demonstrators in Tbilisi, Georgia, killing at least 20 and drawing widespread condemnation. Eleven days later, this Politburo meeting is the first sustained high-level discussion of the still-murky affair.)
Gorbachev: … (the Georgian intelligentsia) is historically deeply tied to the people. It is the carrier of Georgian national symbolism. Everything there-theater, film, music-everything carries a very strong national element, an underlying connection between the intelligentsia and the people. Had the intelligentsia been involved in due time in the process of change it would have responded sincerely and actively.
… Our cadres regard political methods as a manifestation of weakness. Force-that is the real thing! In Georgia they could not transform themselves in the democratic way, to lead genuine advocates of perestroika, to listen to opponents, even to people with extreme views.
Ryzhkov: … We were in Moscow in those days, and what did we know? Armed forces were used, and the general secretary learns about it only the next morning. How then do we appear before Soviet society, before the whole world?
Gorbachev turns to Yazov: Dmitri Timofeyevich, from now on the army cannot take part in such actions without Politburo decisions.