The Crossing Place: Journey Among the Armenians

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9780002158787: The Crossing Place: Journey Among the Armenians

After centuries of domination as a world power, Armenia has withstood every attempt during the 20th century to destroy it. With a name redolent both of dim antiquity and of a modern world and its tensions, the Armenians founded a civilization and underwent a diaspora that brought many of the great ideas of the East to Western Europe. Today, shrunk to a tenth of its former size and wracked by war with Azerbaijan and by earthquakes, its people still retain one of the world's most fascinating and misunderstood cultures. This book is a passionate and dramatic portrait of this country - the people and their massive exodus, as well as of the unique society that remains tentatively attached to the CIS. Travelling from Venice to Istanbul, passing through Eastern Europe, Beirut and Syria, and crossing the Black Sea to the Caucasus and into Armenia, the author takes us on a journey through time and history as we come to know this closed society.

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About the Author:

Philip Marsden is the author of The Bronski House, The Spirit-Wrestlers (winner of the Thomas Cook Travel Book of the Year Award), The Chains of Heaven, The Barefoot Emperor, The Levelling Sea and Rising Ground. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and his work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He lives in Cornwall.

From Publishers Weekly:

Nothing makes a better case for comparing the executions of Turkey's Armenian population during WWI to those of Europe's Jews in WWII than Hitler's dictum ``After all, who now remembers the Armenians?'' Well, Marsden, for one. In his search for the Armenian diaspora, the English author of A Far Country: Travels in Ethiopia traveled through the Levant at the height of the Gulf War and through Eastern Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain--17 countries in all. After visiting Armenian communities in Venice and Jerusalem, Marsden went to Beirut, long ``Armenia's unofficial capital-in-exile'' (that Beirut is a haven itself speaks volumes). The Armenian network in the Middle East proved enormously resourceful, helping Marsden across dangerous borders with uncanny efficiency. By contrast, the Eastern European Armenians were less cohesive--in part, no doubt, because many trace their exile to 1064 and because, as Christians in Christian countries, their integration was easier. There is much history here, added layer by layer, but Marsden's real strength is in his descriptions and in his willingness to put himself at the mercy of circumstances during a raw and tumultuous time.

Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Marsden-Smedley, Philip
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