Empire's Edge

Empire's Edge

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This travel book explores the forgotten countries on the edge of the new Europe—Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Uzbekistan. Mixing anecdote and reportage with history and legend, Malcomson teases out the long-running tensions between nation and empire, whether Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman or European. By the author of Tutarani: A Political Journey in the Pacific Islands.


  • [Malcolmson] finds all sorts of creatures swimming in the ethnic bouillabaisse ... [he] meets them, speaks to them in their own languages, and reports the encounters with a deadpan scrupulousness that is by turn generous and ironic.

    The New Yorker
  • Malcolmson ... brilliantly combines personal encounters with an erudite, wide description of the countries’ disparate pasts. Vivid and engaging as a current document, the book is also a rich historical review of four unique civilisations.

    Publishers’ Weekly
  • Malcolmson crafts travel writing as it should be, not mere colorful reporting but journalism in its fullest sense, the graceful arrangement of telling anecdotes and proto-essays that cull seeds of tomorrow from the chaff of yesterday.

    San Francisco Weekly