Let Our Fame be Great : Journeys Among the Defiant People of the Caucasus, Paperback

Let Our Fame be Great : Journeys Among the Defiant People of the Caucasus Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Oliver Bullough's "Let Our Fame be Great: Journeys Among the Defiant Peoples of the Caucasus" is the extraordinary untold story of the inhabitants of the Caucasus and their unbreakable spirit.

The Caucasus mountains are a land of jagged peaks and rugged people, who for over 200 years have rebelled against Russia's attempts to add them to its empire.

Oliver Bullough's extraordinary debut tells their story for the first time.

Travelling from remote village to refugee camp, rocky mountain gorge to forgotten massacre site, he discovers exiles, fighters, lost sects, defiant survivors - and an unbreakable spirit. "With this impassioned volume Bullough has struck a blow for the glory of the Caucasus and helped to give voice to the voiceless". (Justin Marozzi, "Financial Times"). "Gripping stories that tell of the terrible things that happen to people caught up in constant warfare...Now their stories are sung by a champion and will resound beyond their boundaries". ("The Times"). "A haunting portrait of a people blown to the winds by a forgotten storm". ("Economist"). "Wonderful, moving". (Norman Stone). "Brilliant...Bullough draws you irresistibly into his narrative, fusing reportage, history and travelogue in colourful, absorbing prose. ..The book is a pleasure". ("Spectator"). "Grand, furious". ("Sunday Times Books of the Year"). "Let its fame be great". (Scotsman Oliver). Bullough (b. 1977) studied modern history at Oxford University and moved to Russia in 1999.

He lived in St Petersburg, Bishkek and Moscow over the next seven years, working as a journalist first for local magazines and newspapers, and then for Reuters news agency.

He reported from all over Russia and the former Soviet Union, but liked nothing more than to work among the people and mountains of the North Caucasus.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512 pages, Illustrations, maps
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: European history
  • ISBN: 9780141037745



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The book starts rather innocuously with the story of the Cherkessians from the first half of the 20the century. Whilst this is certainly a dramatic story, it is sometimes tiresome that the author veers between great historic sweeps and minute detail of specific events. But this style really works for the second part of this book, which concentrates on the Chechen wars in the 1990's. The personal involvement of the author paints a vivid picture of the conflict and the atrocities committed. Strongly recommended on that basis.