To Catch a Tartar

To Catch a Tartar Cover

To Catch a Tartar

Notes from the Caucasus

By Chris Bird

John Murray Publishers, Paperback, 9780719565069, 308pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2004

In To Catch a Tartar, Chris Bird traces a personal journey through the violent de-colonialization of the Soviet empire, recording a war in which lightly armed Chechen fighters held their own against tens of thousands of Russian troops, a conflict that in many essentials has not changed since Lermontov and Tolstoy fought the gortsy, the "mountaineers" of the Caucasus. Instructive and erudite, this is an absorbing history of a still-unknown corner of the world. Chris Bird is the former Caucasus correspondent for Agence France-Presse and The Associated Press.