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Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History
In this study of the fateful encounters between Europe and Asia on the shores of a legendary sea, Neal Ascherson explores the disputed meaning of community, nationhood, history, and culture in a region famous for its dramatic conflicts. What makes the Back Sea cultures distinctive, Ascherson agrues, is the way their comonent parts came together over the millennia to shape unique communities, languages, religions, and trade. As he shows with skill and persuasiveness, Black Sea patterns in the Caucasus, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Turkey, and Greece have linked the peoples of Europe and Asia together for centuries.In a colorful, learned and wholly original chronicle, Neal Ascherson shows us the Black Sea and its place in the history of Europe and Asia, from Jason and the Golden Fleece to the fall of Communism and the new world disorder. In his exploration of the myths and realities surrounding this remarkable region, where ancient cultures collided and modern states - Russia, Turkey, Romania, Greece, and Caucasus - mingle, he discovers that the meanings of community, nationhood, and cultural independence are both fierce and disturbingly uncertain.