Troubled Water

A Journey Around the Black Sea

Jens Mühling,

Troubled Water: A Journey Around the Black Sea
 
 
A history of the countries bordering the Black Sea told through the stories of the people who live there.

Fringing the Black Sea is a diverse array of countries, some centuries old and others emerging only after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Jens Mühling travels through this region, telling the stories of people he meets along the way in order to paint a picture of the mix of cultures found here and to understand the present against a history stretching back to the arrival of Ancient Greek settlers and beyond.

A fluent Russian speaker with a knack for gaining the trust of those he meets, Mühling brings together a cast of characters as diverse as the stories he hears, all of whom are willing to tell him their complex, contradictory, and often fantastical tales full of grief and legend. He meets descendants of the so-called Pontic Greeks, whom Stalin deported to Central Asia and who have now returned; Circassians who fled to Syria a century ago and whose great-great-grandchildren have returned to Abkhazia; and members of ethnic minorities like the Georgian Mingrelians or Bulgarian Muslims, expelled to Turkey in the summer of 1989. Mühling captures the region’s uneasy alliance of tradition and modernity and the diverse humanity of those who live there.
 


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