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The Sabres of Paradise: Conquest and Vengeance in the Caucasus

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  86 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
The Caucasus--a region of supreme natural beauty and fiercely proud warriors--has throughout history been characterized by violence and turmoil. During the Great Caucasus War of 1834-1859, the warring mountain tribes of Daghestan and Chechnya united under the charismatic leadership of the Muslim chieftain Imam Shamyl, the "Lion of Daghestan", and held at bay the invading R ...more
Paperback, Revised, 512 pages
Published November 13th 2004 by Tauris Parke Paperbacks (first published 1960)
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Matthew Griffiths
Feb 04, 2014 rated it liked it
This has proved to be quite a difficult one to review. if we took the story of Shamyl that this book presents at its face value I would happily have given it a more positive review. unfortunately to be fair I must take into account the authors added comments that are liberally spread throughout the book which unfortunately only add insight into her racism at times. Whenever describing Russians or the varied peoples of the Caucasus she often resorts to flimsy generalisations about oriental cruelt ...more
Steve Scott
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
A fair treatment of the early struggles of the struggles in Central Asia against the Russian Empire. One my black belt gave this to me about six years ago or so.

Given recent events having to do with the Boston bombing, this is a good starter for those wanting to know more about the history of the region and the religious conflicts surrounding it.
Mansoor Azam
Nov 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
lovely book. i was thrilled by the events and the way they were described. it was definitely a learning experience about a place which was little known before and a hero which is seldom talked about. it has a certain romantic touch to it.
Gill Shaddick
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books of all time.
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
It is hard to imagine a book with such great strengths and weaknesses combined. This is a superb history of Shamyl, a Muslim from Dhaghistan who fought the Russians. The book is superbly researched and brilliantly written and has background on the whole era. Yet, it lacks maps so the battles are obscure. It is full of things that are no longer valid: racist comments, steriotypes, generalizations. And the author makes no attempt to hide his admiration for Shamyl so the book is grossly biased. St ...more
Bruno de Maremma
Dec 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Wide ranging and densely detailed accounts of the life of Shamyl and his attempts to defeat the russian invasion of the Caucasus. You can see the recent ongoing conflicts in Chechnya as an extension of this resistance. Very enlightening.
George Anderson
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Best way to start with Lesley Blanch. Every minute you delay opening this book is enjoyment and wonder denied. After this you will read more. From here the reading disease will take you to Hopkirk.
Aug 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Long and hilarious, a classic example of Orientalism in historical writing about the "exotic" Russians and Caucasians.
Jul 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The style took a little while to get into, but soon enough I was captivated.
Oct 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read an earlier edition.
Recep Pehlivan
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Epic ... Loved it!
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hardcopy
A great biography of a great character, Sheikh Shamil.. of Chechnya (Daghestan)
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A scholarly romantic, Lesley Blanch influenced and inspired generations of writers, readers and critics. Her first book, The Wilder Shores of Love — the stories of four ninteenth-century women who followed the beckoning Eastern star — pioneered a new kind of group biography focusing on women escaping the boredom of convention. An instant classic, it has remained in print in English since first pub ...more
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