By Bruce Grant

The Caucasus area of Eurasia, wedged in among the Black and Caspian Seas, encompasses the fashionable territories of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, in addition to the bothered republic of Chechnya in southern Russia. a domain of invasion, conquest, and resistance because the onset of old checklist, it has earned a name for fearsome violence and remoted mountain redoubts closed to outsiders. Over prolonged efforts to regulate the Caucasus zone, Russians have lengthy mythologized tales in their countrymen taken captive via bands of mountain brigands.

In The Captive and the Gift, the anthropologist Bruce supply explores the lengthy courting among Russia and the Caucasus and the capability during which sovereignty has been exercised during this contested sector. Taking his lead from Aleksandr Pushkin's 1822 poem "Prisoner of the Caucasus," furnish explores the extreme resonances of the topics of violence, captivity, and empire within the Caucasus via mythology, poetry, brief tales, ballet, opera, and movie. supply argues that whereas the ordinary Russian captivity narrative mirrored quite a lot of political positions, it generally and compellingly instructed a imaginative and prescient of Caucasus peoples as thankless, lawless matters of empire who have been unwilling to recognize and settle for the presents of civilization and safeguard prolonged by means of Russian leaders.

Drawing on years of box and archival learn, provide strikes past fable and mass tradition to signify how real-life Caucasus practices of alternate, in contrast, aimed to manage and slash instead of unharness and raise violence. the result's a historic anthropology of sovereign kinds that underscores how enduring renowned narratives and shut readings of formality practices can make clear the administration of pluralism in long-fraught international areas.

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