New Publication “Noe Jordania: Father of Modern Georgia”

A new booklet has been published commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the independent Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918-1921). Noe Jordania: Father of Modern Georgia tells the story of the early Menshevik leader’s public and private life. Noé Jordania was the first democratically elected leader of Georgia, president of the short lived Democratic Republic of Georgia (DRG). He managed to escape the Red Army takeover of the country in 1921 when Georgia was incorporated into the Soviet empire and fled to France where he lived the rest of his life in exile.

The booklet was curated by Redjeb Jordania, who was born in exile in Paris. He did not set foot in his family’s homeland until 1990, once the Soviets had largely lost power. Despite being physically distance from Georgia, Redjeb Jordania has always been passionately interested in the country and its trajectory. He published a memoir in 2004 titled All My Georgias.

The new booklet includes three sections – “The Forgotten Father of Modern Georgia” by Molly Corso, “My Father Noé, Statesman and Family Man: A Memoir” by Redjeb Jordania, and “‘Beladi’: The Uncontested Leader” by Stephen Jones. Corso emphasizes the regaining of a lost history. The Soviets tried to erase the memory of the DRG from the Georgian people, but in recent years researchers from various countries have unearthed and revived the achievements of that early democratic government. The country was a leader in the region; Corso writes, “What Jordania and his government created was a country based on a progressive constitution that gave both men and women the right to vote, abolished the death penalty and made clear the separation of church and state. People were given the right to strike and minors—people under the age of 16—were prohibited from working. Primary education was free and compulsory.” Redjeb Jordania gives personal insight into the great leader’s life, including endearing descriptions of Noe Jordania eating dinner with an adopted kitten in the folds of his shawl, and delves into his father’s education, heritage, and personal and political philosophy. He does not pull punches, however, and exposes the blind patriotism that Noe Jordania sometimes expressed. For example, “My father wrote in his memoirs: ‘In Georgia women never work in the fields.’ Well, in Kakhétie, for example, it is women that work in the vineyards and harvest the grapes. I can see them, their faces lined with wrinkles, their clothes in tatters, their ankle boots pierced by holes and worn down at the heels and so formless that the women could walk only with difficulty. In the group that I remember so clearly, they all looked to be 70 years old or more, but by their youthful gestures and movements, I am sure that they were no more than 35 or 40 years old.” Jones calls Jordania “Jefferson, Madison, and Washington wrapped into one,” and details how he and his cohort created and sustained (if only for a short while) the DRG.

Earlier this year President Giorgi Margvelashvili launched a campaign titled ‘From Independence to Freedom - 100 Years of Republic’ to mark 100 years since the declaration of the Georgian Democratic Republic, Georgia’s first independent state after more than a century of Russian imperial rule. Independence Day celebrations on the 26th of May will be bigger this year in recognition of the anniversary, including a much-publicized concert by James Blunt in Tbilisi. As usual, Rustaveli Ave. will be closed to vehicle traffic. Celebrations will also take part in other cities across Georgia.  

A paper copy of the booklet Noe Jordania: Father of Modern Georgia can be purchased on Amazon for $5.50, or downloaded for free in EPUB, PDF, or MOBI for Kindle at the following link:!%23download

By Samantha Guthrie

Photo: Amazon

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21 May 2018 17:32