Eight Pieces of Empire A 20-Year Journey Through the Soviet Collapse

ISBN-10: 0307395839

ISBN-13: 9780307395832

Edition: N/A

Authors: Lawrence Scott Sheets

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A two-decade journey, panoramic in scope yet intimate in detail, through the hopes, sorrows, and conflagrations of an unraveled empire and the people living in it.Not with a bang, but with a quiet, ten-minute address on Christmas Day 1991: this is how the Soviet Union met its end. Lawrence Scott Sheets, who was then living in Moscow as a young foreign correspondent, went to the center of the capital to witness the response. “In the streets around Red Square,” he writes, “life went on as usual. One would not have known that 300 million people had just become citizens of other countries.”But in the wake of that one deceptively calm moment, conflict and violence soon followed. Some of the emergent new countries began to shed totalitarianism, while others sought to revive their own dead empires or were led by barely or totally unreformed ex-Soviet leaders who built equally or even more repressive political machines. Since the late 1980s, Sheets lived and reported from the former USSR and saw firsthand the reverberations of the collapse of empire across Russia, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Ukraine, and Chechnya.Eight Pieces of Empiredraws readers into the people, politics and day-to-day life in the region, painting a vivid portrait of a tumultuous time.On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the USSR, Sheets’ stories about people living through these tectonic shifts of fortune—a trio of female saboteurs in Chechnya, the chaos of newly independent Georgia in the early 1990s, young hustlers eager to strike it rich in the post-Soviet economic vacuum—reveal the underreported and surprising ways in which the ghosts of empire still haunt these lands and the world.From the Hardcover edition.
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Book details

List price: $19.00
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 10/30/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 336
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.550
Language: English

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Author's Note
Farewell Leningrad, Farewell Empire (1989-1991)
A Civil War Outside My Door
Our Communal
Tears of a KGB Man
A Bigamist Bandit and a Button Maker
Sickle and Hammer Down: An Empire's Last Hours
Georgia: Anarchy in Paradise (1992-1996)
Nobody Started This War
Buried Five Times: Insurgents in Flat Black Nylons
A Word About War
Azerbaijan and Armenia at War (1993-1996)
Azerbaijan: Lifesaving Carpets
Armenia: A Faded Tintype of Mount Ararat
Azerbaijan: The Shish Kebab War and Eastern Democracy
Chechnya: Echoes of the Deportation (1993-2004)
Grenade, Lightly Tossed
Three Libertine Sabotage Women
A Disappearance
Three Boys Seeking Martyrdom
Resurrections: the Abdication of Atheism (1998-2005)
A Nameless Bunch of Bones
A KGB Church and Latter-day Saints
Central Asia: Rise of the Red Sultans (2001-2002)
Uzbekistan: I Cannot Answer That Question
An Afghan Interlude
The Island of Dr. Moreau
Revolutions, Reindeer, and Radiation (2003-2011)
The Flaming Recliner
Last Song of the Ultas
Home, Sweet Chernobyl
The Road to the Schoolhouse
An Empire Epilogue
Selected Bibliography
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