History, Politics and Current Events, Reviews, Sociology

Review: Derluguian, Bourdieu’s Secret Admirer in the Caucasus

jacket imageThe New Left Review recently published a lengthy review of Georgi M. Derluguian’s Bourdieu’s Secret Admirer in the Caucasus: A World-System Biography. From the review by David Laitin: "Derluguian’s method of elaborating class formations, their reformations and historical alliances through the technique of ethnography is an ingenious juxtaposition, making for a text that is both sociologically revealing and narratively gripping. His is a new form of class analysis, based on observation of the micro-sociological details of everyday life; but it also projects the political implications of those ground-level class alliances, and helps to reveal the processes that turn susceptibility to violent breakdown into actuality…. Bourdieu’s Secret Admirer in the Caucasus gives direction to future work on the perils of authoritarian decline."
Bourdieu’s Secret Admirer in the Caucasus is a gripping account of the developmental dynamics involved in the collapse of Soviet socialism. Fusing a narrative of human agency to his critical discussion of structural forces, Georgi M. Derluguian reconstructs from firsthand accounts the life story of Musa Shanib—who from a small town in the Caucasus grew to be a prominent leader in the Chechen revolution. In his examination of Shanib and his keen interest in the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu, Derluguian discerns how and why this dissident intellectual became a nationalist warlord.