“In the shade of the taken-down wall”
28 March, 2013
“In the shade of the taken-down wall”
There is a new book on the shelves! “In the shade of the taken-down wall’ is a political scientist’s story of the 1990’s which could successfully be used as a handy text-book for students of history and political analysts, saying nothing about the wider rank-and-file readership. Author Zurab I. Abashidze is in his elements – truth, depth and wit all in place! His dad, late Irakli Abashidze is a prominent Georgian poet and public figure, venerated by his beloved people.
No wonder, the son Abashidze also wanted to be a man of letters, only trying his pen not in poesy but in political philosophy. Actually, I have never read a political non-fiction which has impressed me with an emotional power of a regular high quality fiction. I had momentarily imbibed the work’s surrealistic introduction with an overwhelming pleasure. The author’s exciting political grotesque, which immerses the reader in his wildly hypothetical narration of history of the years in question, augmented my imagination to the extent of hysterical mirth, accompanying every single page of that tantalizing intro. The most memorable political events of the roaring nineties are methodically lined up in the book with a tone of a slightly felt latent rebuke, addressed to the befuddled mankind for the way it had behaved in those years of painful changes, destructive politicking and abundant bloodshed. The book is full of outrageous paradigms of modern human atrocities. Abashidze outlines that part of history with an exceptionally acute sense of facts, putting every one of them through his own heart and mind with a visibly knowledgeable approach of a political scientist, being privy to the described momentous events. He is not tiring us with teaching history as such; he is just telling us a story with a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ attitude, which makes the book even more eye-catching and easier to read, masterfully using a grass-roots language mixed with ambitious scientific parlance in this fresh page-turner. The witty quips and quizzical observations are strewn over the pages so profusely that you don’t even have to wait long to enjoy every next one. In a word, this book is not only a book by him – it is him, simply him, the Zuriko Abashidze.
What is it after all? It is a compact pocket book on our recent history, written in good time and delivered to the reader as a piece of indispensable heads-up for us to understand that it is high time for humankind to put its act together or else we will soon be done with. To cut it short, if we need to know history at all, give us books like this to learn history without any sense of indolence and procrastination. Abashidze’s “In the shade of the taken-down wall’ is a perfect memo for all of us to remember that the overall human happiness around the globe is in our hands but we usually let it go because of our unintelligent and inhuman judgments. Why do we need so many costly historical lessons if we never learn from them? The parallels drawn in the book for Georgia are so valuable for making our future decisions that I cannot help learning them by heart in case the fortune has it for me to someday be one of those decision makers in this country. Please don’t get me wrong!
Collapse of the Soviet Union, Desert Storm, German Wall, Yugoslavia, International Terrorism, Conflicts, Monopolar World, Kosovo Incident and Matrioshka Syndrome – the entire gamut of the most important political events of the 90’s of the last century is embedded in the book, standing out with perfect narrative and thorough analysis, balanced with the author’s habitual temperate manner of presentation and moderate style of interpretation. The two previous monographs by Zurab I. Abashidze ‘NATO & Georgia: from utopia to reality’ and ‘The Cold War: past & present’ are marked with exactly the same manner of writing although the last one — the subject of our discussion — has suggested freer flight of thought and mightier wings to fly.
What deserved our special attention are the author’s philosophical comments on history in general, offered in the chapter titled ‘The end of history or the new era of confrontation’. Allusion to the works by famous authors like Francis Fukuyama, Robert Kagan, Sam Huntington and Zbigniew Brzezinski trigger serious meditation on man’s behavior on the planet, the consideration of which gives us a chance to make certain optimal decisions about our further life on that planet. The Georgian people could certainly use the thoughts presented in the book to this extent. The delicately and skillfully used juxtapositions made by the author will serve as vectors along which this nation’s further thoughts and decisions will be gliding wisely and smoothly.
As a matter of fact, it is almost impossible to come up with considerable critique of the book, but when speaking about globalization, I would definitely mention Tomas Friedman’s name next to the above mentioned eminent authors. The name index would also be very helpful at the end of the book which is very seldom found in Georgian editions of the sort in general. The number of typos is clearly negligible.
Finally, it would be extremely expeditious to have “In the shade of the taken-down wall’ by Zurab I. Abashidze translated into English and Russian languages without any delay and into others in the long run. Books like this do a lot of good, so to speak: they inform, they instruct, they entertain, they caution and they counsel. What else can mass medium like a book can do! It also gives a firm ground for working out a political position if you need one, which is significant for a participant in the political processes, taking place in this country and in the world. The chapter titled ‘Matrioshka Syndrome’ has to be made the subject of undelayed translation into all main languages of the globe in order for the nations of the world to enjoy uncannily practicable instructions for handling Russia as a global player. Abashidze’s observations on the Russian social and political character are simply irreplaceable if you want to know how to tame the bear. I am not surprised that Abashidze came up with those valuable observations – he has after all ten years of ambassadorial experience in Russia under his belt.
Ambassador Zurab I. Abashidze is currently a functioning civil servant, working as Georgian government’s commissioner for matters concerning Russia. If anybody needs his new book as a guide in work, it is him in the first place. He has definitely managed to compress long years of history into seconds, the best reflection of which is the story of 1990-1999, the years so much resembling our remoter past and so differing from it with political particularity. Not in vain, the author uses his great father’s poetic words as an epigraph to one of the chapters of the book: ‘a minute – at times, sometimes – a century’. Irakli Abashidze was probably looking at his poetic crystal ball when chiseling those precious words into history. Like father, like son! Zurab I. Abashidze has certainly justified the poet’s philosophical stance with his powerful logic and adherence to the logic of the naked truth. Now the question is how valuable that truth is for all of us the humans to keep in mind, and for the author’s fellow countrymen to use it at the moment of crossing the Rubicon . . . And the number of crucial crossing points for Georgia in the future looks scary. As for Zurab I. Abashidze personally, I am more than confident that he knows how to handle the truth with his customary cautiousness and sagacity, even in a matter of seconds, when handling the truth well is inevitable.

Other Stories
Georgian Kakhaber Abashidze becomes Director-General of Walt Disney Company CIS
Georgian Kakhaber Abashidze has been appointed as Director-General of Walt Disney Company CIS, reports AT.ge.
Public Registry registers Kibar Khalvashi as Rustavi 2 TV owner
According to the data posted on the Public Registry website, Kibar Khalvashi is the owner of 60% shares of the Rustavi 2 broadcasting company.
European Court of Human Rights founds no violation by Georgian courts in Rustavi 2 case
The European Court of Human Rights has published a judgment in the Rustavi 2 case.
Kartlis Deda covering her eye – New Stencil in Tbilisi
Kartlis Deda covering her eye – new stencil has appeared in Tbilisi.
Historic Petra fortress will host an electronic music festival
On August 10 the historic Petra fortress located in the village Thsikhidziri in Adjara will host GR –Fest - an open air electronic music festival.
From September Iakob Gogebashvili's "Deda Ena" will make a comeback in Georgian schools
This fall, at the beginning of the new academic year every first-grader will receive "Deda Ena" as a gift.
Georgian painter creating unique paper sculptures
Beso Kobakhidze, a painter from Ambrolauri, a city located in the western part of the country, has been creating unique paper sculptures for 8 years now.
Anti-occupation movement "Force is in Unity" patrolling in Davit Gareji
One of the leaders of the anti-occupation movement, Davit Katsarava, says that there is a calm situation in Davit Gareji for the time being,
23rd day of Anti-occupation rally, Interior Minister does plan to resign
Georgian Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia said that the dispersal of a rally near the parliament on June 20
President Putin falsifies History of Georgia
Following the II Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, Vladimir Putin met
“Дождь” news program accompanied by a bottle of Georgian wine
“Дождь”, Russian TV channel’s news program was accompanied by a bottle of Georgian wine as a show of solidarity for Georgia.
Khatia Buniatishvili and Guillaume Gallienne perform Georgian song “Suliko”
Khatia Buniatishvili made French actor Guillaume Gallienne and journalist Anne-Sophie Lapix perform an improvised Georgian dance
Tbilisi Pride held, demonstrators of two different rallies spend the night on Rustaveli Avenue
Anti-occupation demonstrators and opponents of Tbilisi Pride spent last night on Rustaveli Avenue.
What does the store “Georgian” offer tourists in Summer?
“Georgian”, a tourist store of “Biblusi” is popular not only with tourists but with everyone looking for a Georgian product.
Rustavi 2 TV Anchor Insults Putin, Government calls it a provocation
On July 7, Giorgi Gabunia, anchor of the PS news program on Rustavi 2 TV, used obscene terms against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Georgian Alexandre Zazarashvili wins The Voice Kids Ukraine
Georgian Alexandre Zazarashvili has won the fifth season of The Voice Kids Ukraine.
Part of ‘Fast and Furious 9’ to be filmed in Georgia
A 10-minute episode of ‘Fast and Furious 9’ will be filmed in Georgia.
Euronews: “Georgia goes green”
Euronews has recently published an episode of Focus about Kutaisi, second largest city in Georgia.
Georgian children idol Giorgi Gogichaishvili dies aged 51
Georgian actor and TV host Giorgi Gogichaishvili passed away yesterday.
 Bakery "Puri Guliani" - History of Georgian baking
Puri Guliani – this is what our ancestors called pastries that they earnestly created all over Georgia with a variety of fillings.
Russia is an occupier – Protest-themed birdhouses
Ramaz Grigalashvili from Khashuri, a town in the central part of Georgia has been building birdhouses for about 6 years.
Russian rugby club suspends Georgian rugby players contract
The Russian rugby club "Slava" suspended the contracts of two Georgian rugby players.
Young Georgian lost over 120 kilos in a year
A 20-year old Giorgi Bibilauri lost 120 kilos through a year intense workout.
Danish artist created illustrations on current events in Georgia
Livija Viksna is a Danish/Latvian illustrator based in Tbilisi.
Anita Rachvelishvili and Nino Katamadze join the rally
Georgian singer Nino Katamadze and mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili joined the peaceful rally on Rustaveli Avenue.
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
World famous British singer Jessie J has decided to wear clothes made by Anouki Areshidze, Georgian designer and wife of the mayor of Tbilisi.
Bassiani, one of the most popular underground clubs not only in Georgia but throughout Europe as well, has opened today
An amazing video made in Georgia by tourists from the Philippines have gone viral on the internet.
Over the recent two days May 12-13 Tbilisi city saw a peaceful protest rally in the center of the city.
Hundreds of people took to the main street Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi to protest the raid in Tbilisi’s popular night clubs.
Two bear cubs listed as endangered on the red list were handed over to Tbilisi Zoo,
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and Deputy Tbilisi Mayor Ms. Sophio Khuntsaria have gifted a food stand
Pamela Anderson, famous Canadian American actress and model has appeared in the chic sunglasses by internationally acclaimed Georgian designer George Keburia.
A ski lift accident in Georgia’s eastern Gudauri resort,in particular at Sadzele 5 lift, has left 8 people with injuries.
The ski lift in Gudauri winter resort in Georgia has broke down in the aftermath of which several people have been injured.
GEL Exchange
July 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31