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Eight Pieces of Empire
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Table of Contents

Contents for Eight Pieces of Empire (Broadway Paperbacks)

Legal Note
Author's Note

PART I-FAREWELL LENINGRAD, FAREWELL EMPIRE (1989-1991)
A Civil War Outside My Door
Our Communal
Tears of a KGB Man
A Bigamist Bandit and a Button Maker
Sickle and Hammer Down: An Empire's Last Hours

PART II-GEORGIA: ANARCHY IN PARADISE (1992-1996)
Nobody Started This War
Exodus
Buried Five Times: Insurgents in Flat Black Nylons
A Word About War

PART III-AZERBAIJAN AND ARMENIA AT WAR (1993-1996)
Azerbaijan: Lifesaving Carpets
Armenia: A Faded Tintype of Mount Ararat
Azerbaijan: The Shish Kebab War and Eastern Democracy

PART IV-CHECHNYA: ECHOES OF THE DEPORTATION (1993-2004)
Grenade, Lightly Tossed
Grozny
Three Libertine Sabotage Women
A Disappearance
Three Boys Seeking Martyrdom

PART V-RESURRECTIONS: THE ABDICATION OF ATHEISM (1998-2005)
A Nameless Bunch of Bones
A KGB Church and Latter-day Saints

PART VI-CENTRAL ASIA: RISE OF THE RED SULTANS (2001-2002)
Uzbekistan: I Cannot Answer That Question
An Afghan Interlude
The Island of Dr. Moreau

PART VII-REVOLUTIONS, REINDEER, AND RADIATION (2003-2011)
The Flaming Recliner
Last Song of the Ultas
Home, Sweet Chernobyl
The Road to the Schoolhouse

PART VIII-AN EMPIRE EPILOGUE

Acknowledgments
Selected Bibliography

About the Author

Lawrence Scott Sheets reported for National Public Radio for seven years and was NPR's Moscow bureau chief from 2001-2005, covering the entire former USSR. He was Caucasus region bureau chief for Reuters from 1992-2000 and a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University from 2000-2001. He also worked for NBC News in Moscow during 1992 and his work has been published in the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times, and heard on the BBC World Service, Public Radio International, and other news outlets. Sheets is currently South Caucasus Project Director of the International Crisis Group, focusing on Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia.

Reviews

"Eight Pieces of Empire is a unique, readable, and bracing work of eyewitness history by a brave foreign correspondent who risked his safety and more to document it."-The New Republic

"Lawrence Sheets is a foreign correspondent whose bravery exceeds one's comprehension. . . . He has produced some of the most gripping war correspondence I have ever read."-The Washington Times

"Unforgettable memoir and travelogue of a period and a place most of us would prefer to forget . . . [gives] meaning, and perspective, to the rocky transition of the past two decades, and infuses it with drama and despair . . . vital and vivid."
-The Boston Globe

"An invaluable eyewitness account of the traumas of the Soviet collapse told through the lives of those who were caught up in it and often buried under it. The book is written with a disarming honesty, sympathy and humility."-The Economist

"A vivid, largely anecdotal account of the chaos and confusion that has followed in the two decades since the fall of the massive communist entity that once obsessed America. It leaves the reader hungry for more."-Associated Press

"Sheets' suite of incidents bespeaks his Russian-fluent immersion among people unmoored by the Soviet collapse, a quality watchers of the Russian scene will appreciate."-Booklist

"In an era when the media establishment supports foreign reporting less and less, Lawrence Sheets has lived a life of utter seriousness as a foreign correspondent: concentrating on one broad area-the former Soviet Union-in order to develop subject expertise, and then dedicating himself to indefatigable ground-level coverage of that area. Forget the pundits and the scandalmongers, this is a real journalist."
-Robert D. Kaplan, author of The Good American

"Few Westerners understand the post-Soviet soul like Lawrence Sheets. Whether it is his hair-raising stories of the region's myriad armed conflicts or the black humor with which he captures the moral and physical impoverishment of a collapsing empire, Sheets brilliantly condenses twenty tumultuous years into an eminently readable tale."-Matthew Brzezinski, author of Red Moon Rising

"To capture the human cost of fallen empire with all its horror and absurdity, Sheets offers the right combination: the political insight of a top reporter and the power of a novelist."-Martin Cruz Smith, author of Gorky Park and other books

"With Eight Pieces of Empire, Lawrence Scott Sheets brings a journalist's watchful eye, an essayist's sense of humor, and a scholar's mind to the legacy of Soviet empire in all its color and complexity. This book is a great read, and its images linger in the mind long after the cover is closed."-Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and author of The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations?

"This may read like a mad journey through some of the most dangerous places on earth, but it is much more than that as well. Sheets witnessed most of the wars, disasters, and revolutions that followed the end of communism, and his accounts of them-from Chechnya to Chernobyl, and from Abkhazia to Afghanistan-serve as a passionate but considered obituary for the vanished Soviet empire."-Oliver Bullough, author of Let Our Fame Be Great

"War reporter Lawrence Sheets's edgy memoir evokes exactly the fatalism, confusion, and centrifugal forces that suddenly broke up the Soviet Union two decades ago. Refreshingly free of faraway theorizing, this book focuses on what people actually saw and experienced in those years."-Hugh Pope, author of Dining with al-Qaeda

"Dean of the Moscow press corps Lawrence Scott Sheets has been everywhere and seen it all. Funny, engaged, and humane, he is a matchless guide to the tattered remnants of the Soviet empire."-Anna Reid, author of Borderland and The Shaman's Coat

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