Black Sea is a homage to an ocean and its shores, from the earliest times to the present. It explores the culture, history and politics of the volatile region which surrounds the Black Sea.
Ascherson recalls the world of Herodotus and Aeschylus; Ovid's place of exile on what is now the coast of Romania; the decline and fall of Byzantium; the mysterious Christian Goths; the Tatar Khanates; the growth of Russian power across the grasslands, and the centuries of war between Ottoman and Russian Empires around the Black Sea. He examines the terrors of Stalinism and its fascist enemy, both striving for mastery of these endlessly colourful and complex shores, and investigates the turbulent history of modern Ukraine.
WITH A FOREWORD BY THE AUTHOR
'A brilliant biography of place' Guardian
'Every page is freighted with rich and fascinating detail' Independent
A brilliant biography of place. The complex social, ethnic and extraordinary ecological histories of this region - combined with vivid anecdotes and encounters - provide the background for stimulating reflections
Must certainly be among the year's most memorable non-fiction books
A scholarly desktop travel through lost worlds
A genuinely compelling book: erudite, original, beautifully written