In May of this year, I sat down with German author and journalist Jens Mühling to talk about his latest book Troubled Water. A Journey around the Black Sea for Foreword Reviews.
When I signed up to review the book in January this year I did it out of my own personal interest. The Black Sea is a body of water that is generally overlooked in today’s West-centric geopolitical debates, but for thousands of years, the Black Sea has been a nexus for human communication. I encounter the Black Sea no matter what type of history I study. The Ancient Greeks colonized the shores of this sea. Constantinople was founded by the Romans as a lock on the sea. The Goths migrated from the shores of this sea and changed the face of the European peninsulas during late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. The Ottoman Empire, Poland-Lithuania, and Russia went up against each other for supremacy over this sea, a fight that went on for centuries.
In May, when I sat down to talk to Jens, the world was in a different place than back in January. The Black Sea was at the center of the world’s attention because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine’s modern southern border stretches along the north shore of the Black Sea, cut short by Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.
Click here to read my interview with Jens. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Click here to read my review of Troubled Water, which was given a starred review in Foreword Review’s May/June issue of 2022.
In the words of my friend, the Australian, I shall return.
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