In the Mountains of Poetry
Routledge – 2007 – 336 pages
This is the first comprehensive cultural and historical introduction to modern Georgia. It covers the country region by region, taking the form of a literary journey through the transition from Soviet Georgia to the modern independent nation state.
Georgia's recorded history goes back nearly 3,000 years. The Georgians converted to Christianity in 330 and their Bagratuni monarchy endured for over 1,000 years. The Soviets ruled the region from 1921 but their vigorous repression did little to eradicate the strong Georgian sense of nationhood and under Gorbachev, Georgian independence became inevitable. Nasmyth's lively and topical survey charts the nation's remarkable cultural and historical journey to statehood.
Having travelled extensively in the country over a period of five years, Peter Nasmyth is exceptionally qualified to write on Georgia. His authoritative, dynamic and perceptive book is based on hundreds of interviews with modern Georgians, from country priests to black marketeers. Georgia will be essential reading for anyone interested in this fascinating region as well as for students and researchers requiring an insight into life after the collapse of the old Soviet order in the richest and most dramatic of the former republics.
‘Indispensable to all serious travellers to the Caucasus’ - Lesley Chamberlain, Times Literary Supplement.
'Nasmyth is an ideal chronicler. It would be difficult to read his quirky, entertaining, informative, sometimes surreal book without having an impulse to ring a travel agent and ask for flights to Tbilisi' - D.M. Thomas, Literary Review.
‘Peter Nasmyth has written the elegiac, quirky, readable, deeply knowledgeable Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry, the best cultural-historical introduction to that tempestuous land’ – Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Daily Telegraph.
‘…the revised edition of his [Peter Nasmyth’s] Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry reasserts his position as author of the best book on post-Soviet Georgia’ - Michael Church, The Independent.
‘The result is a lively, perceptive, topical book…’ – Fitzroy Maclean, Times Literary Supplement.
Part 1: Pre-Independent Georgia 1. Why Georgia? 2. Before the Caucasus 3. The Mountains of Poetry 4. Kazbegi 5. The Mountain 6. Kazbegi to Tbilisi 7. Tbilisi 8. Mtskheta 9. Gori 10. Vardzia 11. Kakheti 12. Svaneti 13. Sukhumi Part 2: Independent Georgia 14. The Eve of Independence 15. The Young Shoots of War 16. Batumi 17. Khevsureti 18. Georgia’s War: A Return to Sukhumi 19. A Religious Revival 20. Kutaisi 21. New Georgia 22. The Rose Revolution 23. A Walk in Tusheti
Peter Nasmyth's writings and photographs on the Caucasus region have been published in most major UK magazines and newspapers. He has also written for several in American publications, including the Washington Post. Since his first visit to Georgia in 1987 he has also developed several broadcast projects in the region and been nominated for the United Nations Media Peace Prize by the BBC. Alongside this he also started a charity, 'Children of the Caucasus;' been a director of Georgia's first international arts festival, GIFT in 1997; curated the exhibition 'The Wardrops, a Legacy of Britain in Georgia' - for the British Council and Foreign Office; and in 1999 co-founded the first English language bookshop in Tbilisi. He presently lives between London and Tbilisi.