“Across the Main Caucasus Ridge”
The Caucasus Writings of George Kennan
In 1870, George Kennan, a pioneering explorer, writer, and lecturer on Russia in the nineteenth century, became the first American to cross the Caucasus from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea and explore the highlands of Dagestan, a remote Muslim region west of Chechnya, only a decade after Russia violently absorbed the region into its empire. He kept detailed journals of his adventures, creating a vivid narrative of his six-month odyssey. This trip in 1870 is the subject of this paper, focusing on the account of Kennan’s Caucasus journey that chronicles his expedition from Dagestan to Georgia over the Main Caucasus Ridge.
Keywords: Travel Diarist • Diverse Cultures • Highlands • Caucasus • Travelogue