From Library Journal
Azerbaijan is surely among the most complex of Soviet successor states, save Russia itself. Goltz enjoys the distinction of being probably the only Western correspondent whose personal courage and linguistic skill made possible this unique witness to the country's first years of independence. He takes us from his "illegal" entry during the last phase of Soviet rule through accession of former KGB chief and Azeri President Heydar Aliyev. As sheer adventure, the account stands by itself as compelling reading, but the scholarly minded will benefit as Goltz moves from the poverty of postindependence Baku through the chaotic war involving Armenia and the "Black Garden" of Nagorno-Karabakh. Excursions to Tashkent, Teheran, and Grozny add perspective with emerging Turkish-Iranian rivalry for influence. But the book's crowning feature is the author's interviews with the republic's three presidents and the reemergence of the opposition "Popular Front" against Aliyev. Highly recommended for both public and academic libraries.?Zachary T. Irwin, Pennsylvania State Univ. Erie
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