From Conquest to Deportation

The North Caucasus under Russian Rule

May 2018 9781849048941 480pp


This book is about a region on the fringes of empire, which neither Tsarist Russia, nor the Soviet Union, nor in fact the Russian Federation, ever really managed to control. Starting with the nineteenth century, it analyses the state’s various strategies to establish its rule over populations highly resilient to change imposed from outside, who frequently resorted to arms to resist interference in their religious practices and beliefs, traditional customs, and ways of life.

Jeronim Perovic offers a major contribution to our knowledge of the early Soviet era, a crucial yet overlooked period in this region’s troubled history. During the 1920s and 1930s, the various peoples of this predominantly Muslim region came into contact for the first time with a modernising state, demanding not only unconditional loyalty but active participation in the project of ‘socialist transformation’. Drawing on unpublished documents from Russian archives, Perovic investigates the changes wrought by Russian policy and explains why, from Moscow’s perspective, these modernisation attempts failed, ultimately prompting the Stalinist leadership to forcefully exile the Chechens and other North Caucasians to Central Asia in 1943-4.


‘This comprehensive and concise volume will be extremely useful to scholars, students, and a reading public alarmed by the recent history of Russian-Chechen relations.’ — American Historical Review

‘The richest account of the subject to date.’ — Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas

‘In From Conquest to Deportation, Perovic has established himself as one of the key voices on the history of North Caucasus. His exploration of a previously understudied period and novel approach to existing narratives make this work a must-read for those seeking to understand the evolution of affairs in Chechnya.’ — New Eastern Europe

‘Remarkably well-documented … From Conquest to Deportation contributes greatly to our knowledge of the Caucasus, including in the late imperial period, which has been poorly covered in the literature up to now.’ — Europe-Asia Studies

From Conquest to Deportation takes the reader beyond the typical folklore of the resistance fighter and examines the impact of societal structures and interactions that shaped the significant and sometimes tragic events of the North Caucasus.’ — Journal of Military History

‘Provides a very valuable survey of the region’s history for English-speaking audiences.’ — Journal of Modern History

‘Perović’s masterful history of the North Caucasus [uses] newly uncovered sources to advance our understanding of key episodes in North Caucasian history.’ — Kritika

‘The author writes both lucidly and succinctly, taking the reader through two centuries of Russian influence, rule, or domination in a skilfully composed, well-documented text. It is to a great extent a story of conflict, as it remains despite current appearances.’ — Muslim World Book Review

‘A brilliant work and a fresh view of a complex region. One of the most intelligent, erudite and wise studies of the Caucasus I have read.’ — Richard Sakwa, Professor of Russian and European Politics, University of Kent, and Associate Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House

‘A magnificent study of destruction and identity formation among the North Caucasian communities resisting centralized Russian rule. Perović judiciously probes the manifold sources of intra-Caucasian violence.’ — Michael Reynolds, Associate Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University

‘The book that many of us have been waiting for. This is the most thorough and balanced account of Russia’s most troubled frontier region, a story of repression and collaboration, integration and alienation. Using memoirs and archival materials, Perović paints a nuanced picture of imperial ambitions thwarted by native traditions and misunderstandings.’ — Ronald G. Suny, William H. Sewell Jr. Distinguished Professor of History, University of Michigan, and co-author of Russia’s Empires

‘This masterful book weaves together a vast amount of research. Anyone with an interest in the North Caucasus and its complex relationship with Russia should read this work.’ — Ian Lanzillotti, Assistant Professor of History, Tennessee Wesleyan University

‘A comprehensive overview of over two hundred years of Russian rule in the Northern Caucasus, rich in detail, compelling in interpretation, and precise in its research. Perović’s impressive study convincingly explains why neither Tsarist Russia, nor the Soviet Union, nor in fact the Russian Federation, ever really managed to control this region.’ — Klaus Gestwa, Professor at the Institute for Eastern European History and Area Studies, University of Tübingen


Jeronim Perović is Professor of Eastern European History at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He specialises in the history of Russia and the Soviet Union, as well as the history of the Balkans.

Request an academic inspection copy Request a press review copy
Inspection Copy Request
Review Copy Request
Join our mailing list

Subscribers receive exclusive discounts and early access to new books from Hurst.