With an afterword by bestselling author Tom Reiss
An Autobiography like Something Out of the Arabian Nights
In this lively and witty autobiography, Essad Bey, a.k.a. Lev Nussimbaum, tells us the story of his childhood in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, and of his flight from the Russian Revolution in 1917, which brought him first straight through the Caucasus, then to Istanbul – where this book concludes – and finally to Berlin.
When Essad Bey speaks of the people of the Caucasus and their customs so strange to us, a sort of anthropological cabinet of curiosities unfolds before our eyes, and we cannot help but be astonished. All the while, through his affectionate and sometimes openly ironic words, even the excesses of the Revolution sound like children’s pranks and his hair-raising escape like an adventure novel.
Blood and Oil in the Orient is an informative and entertaining book; in the 1930s, it was a bestseller in the U.S. and Germany.