Donald Rayfield

Black Sea Battleground

Crimea: A History

By

Hurst 224pp £20 order from our bookshop

The Crimean Tatars: From Soviet Genocide to Putin’s Conquest

By

Hurst 217pp £20 order from our bookshop

Since the Crimean War of 1853–6 there has been little information for the English-speaking reader on Crimea’s history and peoples. Only the American scholar Alan Fisher has used the necessary Ottoman archives and other Turkic sources, but his writings, published in Istanbul in 1998, are not readily available. Putin’s annexation of Crimea, however, has induced Hurst to produce two brief monographs.

Neil Kent’s Crimea should be subtitled travesty, not history. Careless with facts and even spellings, poorly researched and biased, it was obviously not peer-reviewed before publication. Like Kent’s A Concise History of Sweden of 2008, this book omits crucial events, expands trivialities and abounds in errors. The Crimean War is allotted some thirty pages; the 350-year history of the Crimean Khanate, among Europe’s most influential and well-documented states, is allowed just twenty.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,
    • 'It is a scent of animal wrath, of instinctive need, of brutal life which affects the cultured nostrils of our civi… ,
    • 'The day produced countless stories of chance, of people taking one route or another without realising that the dec… ,
    • In this month's 'Silenced Voices', looks at the case of Azimjon Askarov, the journalist and human rights… ,