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Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry

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This book is the first comprehensive cultural and historical introduction to modern Georgia. It covers the country region by region, taking the form of a literary journey through the transition from Soviet Georgia to the modern independent nation state. Peter Nasmyth traveled extensively in Georgia over a period of 5 years, and his lively and topical survey charts the nati This book is the first comprehensive cultural and historical introduction to modern Georgia. It covers the country region by region, taking the form of a literary journey through the transition from Soviet Georgia to the modern independent nation state. Peter Nasmyth traveled extensively in Georgia over a period of 5 years, and his lively and topical survey charts the nation's remarkable cultural and historical journey to statehood. This authoritative, lively and perceptive book is based on hundreds of interviews with modern Georgians, from country priests to black marketeers. Georgia: Mountains and Honour will be essential reading for anyone interested in this fascinating region, as well as those requiring an insight into the life after the collapse of the old Soviet order in the richest and most dramatic of the former republics.


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This book is the first comprehensive cultural and historical introduction to modern Georgia. It covers the country region by region, taking the form of a literary journey through the transition from Soviet Georgia to the modern independent nation state. Peter Nasmyth traveled extensively in Georgia over a period of 5 years, and his lively and topical survey charts the nati This book is the first comprehensive cultural and historical introduction to modern Georgia. It covers the country region by region, taking the form of a literary journey through the transition from Soviet Georgia to the modern independent nation state. Peter Nasmyth traveled extensively in Georgia over a period of 5 years, and his lively and topical survey charts the nation's remarkable cultural and historical journey to statehood. This authoritative, lively and perceptive book is based on hundreds of interviews with modern Georgians, from country priests to black marketeers. Georgia: Mountains and Honour will be essential reading for anyone interested in this fascinating region, as well as those requiring an insight into the life after the collapse of the old Soviet order in the richest and most dramatic of the former republics.

30 review for Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sportyrod

    I once happened upon a charming hamlet in Europe. It was so quaint I felt like a poet would have lived there at some point - and one did. Whilst I’m not into poetry, I do appreciate places that may have inspired them. The heading of the book reminded me of that feeling I had about the poet’s hamlet. The book took a while to get into as I have read quite a few books where a Brit goes to a country for a year and writes about it. This was different. The author loves the nation of Georgia so much tha I once happened upon a charming hamlet in Europe. It was so quaint I felt like a poet would have lived there at some point - and one did. Whilst I’m not into poetry, I do appreciate places that may have inspired them. The heading of the book reminded me of that feeling I had about the poet’s hamlet. The book took a while to get into as I have read quite a few books where a Brit goes to a country for a year and writes about it. This was different. The author loves the nation of Georgia so much that he travels there numerous times and spends time living there. He basically writes a multi-layered travelogue. He is more interested in people and their opinions so he interviews lots of people on a range of things. He really created a good sense of the Georgian psyche. One clever thing he did was to revisit lots of places and compare (indirectly) the lead up to the revolution and the aftermath. It captured the sentiment of the people. The description of the landscape was phenomenal. Plenty of photos provided. I didn’t realise the land was so diverse, had good bird watching areas and lots of small hamlets crossing the Caucasus Mountains. A minor theme covered the history of where poets lived or visited. Although he didn’t promote himself overtly, it was kind of him to set up learning centres for children. He also runs a cafe/bookshop there. This was a good read. Good for those who like seeing the full timescale of countries transitioning towards democracy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    An excellent book, recounting the two decades that the author has visited, worked in, and lived in Georgia. It thoroughly deepened my understanding of and interest in the country's tumultuous and ancient history, its diverse and aggressive culture and its beautiful landscape and art. A very thoughtful book. I wish there had been a bit more detail about more recent politics and the conflict with Abkhazia in 1992-1993, but I suppose you have to be careful about writing such things in a somewhat tem An excellent book, recounting the two decades that the author has visited, worked in, and lived in Georgia. It thoroughly deepened my understanding of and interest in the country's tumultuous and ancient history, its diverse and aggressive culture and its beautiful landscape and art. A very thoughtful book. I wish there had been a bit more detail about more recent politics and the conflict with Abkhazia in 1992-1993, but I suppose you have to be careful about writing such things in a somewhat temperamental country in which you own a bookshop and would like to stay. And besides, politics aren't really the point here. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the country.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Wilson

    This is a great book and recently updated to cover up to the present day. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book - had a great balance of factual information about a fascinating country and it's many cultures which was interspersed with anecdotes about the authors' travels through Georgia. Could easily have been dated and merely a travelogue but its updates have kept it relevant and you get the sense of Georgia coming of age throughout the book. The Author clearly loves Georgia and it shows but This is a great book and recently updated to cover up to the present day. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book - had a great balance of factual information about a fascinating country and it's many cultures which was interspersed with anecdotes about the authors' travels through Georgia. Could easily have been dated and merely a travelogue but its updates have kept it relevant and you get the sense of Georgia coming of age throughout the book. The Author clearly loves Georgia and it shows but the book is not one sided. Would highly recommend.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Covering several trips to Georgia at key times in its history, Peter Nasmyth gives first-hand accounts of some of the most important moments of independent Georgia. First arriving in 1989 after the April 9 tragedy, he returned in 1991, and again in the late 1990s and in 2003. Each section covers a region of the country, with his descriptions of it and interactions with people he met, explaining in great detail the things he saw. As someone who traveled to several of the regions Nasmyth did (thou Covering several trips to Georgia at key times in its history, Peter Nasmyth gives first-hand accounts of some of the most important moments of independent Georgia. First arriving in 1989 after the April 9 tragedy, he returned in 1991, and again in the late 1990s and in 2003. Each section covers a region of the country, with his descriptions of it and interactions with people he met, explaining in great detail the things he saw. As someone who traveled to several of the regions Nasmyth did (though many years later) it was surreal to read descriptions from him, and how accurate they were; he did a great job of describing them, and despite the distance in time they are largely the same now. This is an excellent travel book on Georgia, and for someone planning to visit, or looking to understand life in the latter Soviet and early post-Soviet era, it is a great read. It's also worth noting that Nasmyth is the founder and owner of Prospero's in Tbilisi. While any expat in Georgia will know of it, Prospero's is the only English-language bookstore in the country and a meeting point for many foreigners.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Adair Lee

    This was a great read. What started out as simple curiosity turned into a small love for a country I have yet to visit. Peter Nasmyth keeps the writing interesting and I was hooked from the beginning. I've met a few Georgians (which prompted me to read this book), and they are exactly as the author describes. The most hospitable people you will ever meet, and it is especially true of their "four-hour" supras. I really enjoyed this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sabine Schryvers

    Interesting read when or while travelling to this gorgeous country. Good insight into the soul and mind of the Georgians in different eras, making you understand the things you see and hear so much more.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    Another memoir of Georgian culture and the grim life here in the 90s. Would have liked it better had I read it before the other one. But I still enjoyed it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    This book is tremendous.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lesha Symons Ervin

    Extremely interesting. Sounds like a a beautifully interesting country with beautifully interesting people!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Robert Dillon

    Excellent - a sweeping yet personal overview of a fascinating nation, people and culture.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Neil Farren

    I have always been fascinated by this country ever since I was a kid. I got a copy of this book last christmas and I found it very informative. I seriously wonder why people in Georgia admire Stalin when forcefully invaded and killed georgian people in order to make it part of the soviet union?

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    A contemporary account of Georgia during the difficult years just before and after the fall of the Soviet Union, with literary allusions librally sprinkled in. Amazing bibliography that spans Tolstoy, Pushkin, Dumas, and many others, including travelogues written in the 18th and 19th centuries by Europeans who visited the country.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Victor Radulescu

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chris Wares

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jill Day

  17. 5 out of 5

    Doug

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

  19. 5 out of 5

    Smaranda Veranda

  20. 4 out of 5

    Josh

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alice Le gall

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shi Ya

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lilith

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

  25. 5 out of 5

    Megan W

  26. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

  27. 4 out of 5

    Johnblom87

  28. 5 out of 5

    Doug

  29. 5 out of 5

    F H

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lesha Symons Ervin

    Great history and cultural background of Georgia!

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