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Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang

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Overview

Eurasian Crossroads is the first comprehensive history of Xinjiang, the vast central Eurasian region bordering India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Mongolia. Forming one-sixth of the People's Republic of China (PRC), Xinjiang stands at the crossroads between China, India, the Mediterranean, and Russia and has, since the Bronze Age, played a pivotal role in the social, cultural, and political development of Asia and the world.

Xinjiang was once the hub of the Silk Road and the conduit through which Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam entered China. It was also the point at which the Chinese, Turkic, Tibetan, and Mongolian empires communicated and struggled with one another. Xinjiang's population comprises Kazakhs, Kirghiz, and Uighurs, all Turkic Muslim peoples, as well as Han Chinese, and competing Chinese and Turkic nationalist visions continue to threaten the region's political and economic stability. Besides separatist concerns, Xinjiang's energy resources, strategic position, and rapid development have gained it international attention in recent decades.

Drawing on primary sources in several Asian and European languages, James Millward presents a thorough study of Xinjiang's history and people from antiquity to the present and takes a balanced look at the position of Turkic Muslims within the PRC today. While offering fresh material and perspectives for specialists, this engaging survey of Xinjiang's rich environmental, cultural, and ethno-political heritage is also written for travelers, students, and anyone eager to learn about this vital connector between East and West.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Far Eastern Economic Review - Ilaria Maria Sala

The scope and depth of Mr. Millward's latest text is unmatched.

China Quarterly - Nicolas Becquelin

The requisite scholarly reading on the region.

New York Review of Books - Jonathan Mirsky

[An] excellent... and invaluable book.

American Historical Review - Colin MacKerras

Well written, well documented, analytical, detailed and stimulating. I recommend it strongly.

H-Soyuz - Morgan Liu

A masterful and insightful piece of integrative scholarship, unique in the literature in its scope and execution, and a pleasure to read.

The Journal of Asian Studies - Ildiko Beller-Hann

Millward's book fills an important gap in the growing literature on Xingjiang, and it will be indispensable to students.

Choice

The first successful attempt to grapple with the entire history of Xinjiang... Recommended.

Far Eastern Economic Review
The scope and depth of Mr. Millward's latest text is unmatched.

— Ilaria Maria Sala

China Quarterly
The requisite scholarly reading on the region.

— Nicolas Becquelin

New York Review of Books
[An] excellent... and invaluable book.

— Jonathan Mirsky

American Historical Review
Well written, well documented, analytical, detailed and stimulating. I recommend it strongly.

— Colin MacKerras

Choice

The first successful attempt to grapple with the entire history of Xinjiang... Recommended.

H-Soyuz
A masterful and insightful piece of integrative scholarship, unique in the literature in its scope and execution, and a pleasure to read.

— Morgan Liu

The Journal of Asian Studies
Millward's book fills an important gap in the growing literature on Xingjiang, and it will be indispensable to students.

— Ildiko Beller-Hann

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231139250
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 7/21/2009
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 809,606
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

James Millward is professor of intersocietal history at the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. He specializes in the history of China and Central Eurasia, including Xinjiang. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, a journalist, and two daughters.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements ix

1 Ancient Encounters (earliest times-8th century) 1

2 Central Eurasia Ascendant (9th-16th centuries) 40

3 Between Islam and China (16th-19th centuries) 78

4 Between Empire and Nation (late 19th-early 20th century) 124

5 Between China and the Soviet Union (1910s-1940s) 178

6 In the People's Republic of China (1950s-1980s) 235

7 Between China and the World (1990s-2000s) 285

Conclusion: Balancing Acts 356

Appendix: Xinjiang Historical Timeline 373

General Bibliography 383

Index 413

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