The Ghost of Freedom: A History of the Caucasus - Charles  King The good thing about this book is that it's a serviceable introduction to the Caucasus for anyone who's not terribly familiar with the region. Unfortunately, it's difficult for an English-language reader to progress much further since a lot of the scholarship is in Russian or some other foreign language.

The chief problem of the book for me was that it lacked organization. It's a history of parts of the Caucasus for selected periods of time -- primarily the Russian conquest throughout the first half of the 19th century and the Soviet/post-Soviet period. The author wanders over the entire region and, even with a map at one's side, the reader can easily become confused.

Upon reflection, I don't think the faults of the book are entirely the author's but rather its size. At only 250 pages, it's a wonder King is able to present as much information as he does. A book of equal length that focused on a more restricted period and/or region or one of twice its length dealing with the same topics would have served the subject and the reader better.