Once in Kazakhstan: The Snow Leopard Emerges


Soon after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Keith Rosten

leaves the United States to be a Fulbright Lecturer in newly-independent

Kazakhstan. In Once in Kazakhstan, Rosten draws

a sometimes humorous portrait of a critical period in...

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Soon after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Keith Rosten

leaves the United States to be a Fulbright Lecturer in newly-independent

Kazakhstan. In Once in Kazakhstan, Rosten draws

a sometimes humorous portrait of a critical period in the emergence

of this Central Asian country, interweaving the challenges and

exhilaration of living in Kazakhstan with the historical backdrop

of a nation grappling with its independence.

From horse heads in the Central Market, to guns on the ski

slopes, and to the first-ever parliamentary elections, Rosten takes

you on a whirlwind tour of the country. He vividly recounts the

change in currency from the Soviet ruble to the tenge and travels

with a candidate for parliament to a rural village near Semipalatinsk.

Using his knowledge of local language and customs, Rosten

provides access to native sources on the history, politics, traditions,

and spirit of Kazakhstan. Complete with photographs of the

people, places, and monuments of the country, Once in Kazakhstan

is an invaluable resource for anyone who is interested in learning

more about, or traveling to, the fascinating landscape of this

emerging nation.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780595327829
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 544,763
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.58 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2005

    Bringing Kazakhstan to Life

    For a reasonably informed American, the name 'Kazakhstan' brings to mind certain facts: former Soviet republic; large Caspian oil fields; a hyphenated capital city (Alma-Ata). Facts, but no images. Let Keith Rosten's book, 'Once in Kazakhstan', provide the missing images. In this collection of short, first-person vignettes, Mr. Rosten introduces us to the friendly and generous Kazakhstanis, takes us to Kazakhstan's cities and countryside, and tells the gripping tale of a post-Soviet nation launching its own currency and attempting its first democratic election. The charm of 'Once in Kazakhstan' lies in the author's good-natured reactions to a very alien environment: in one case, he sizes up a trade fair with, 'Yes, yurts and Barbie dolls -- this is quite a place.' By setting small day-to-day observations against a larger historical backdrop, Mr. Rosten brings to life a far-away land that most of us will never visit. This makes 'Once in Kazakhstan' a must-read for those who want more than just the facts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2005

    Excellent resource for those going to Kazakhstan

    I was looking for an easy read on Kazakhstan, and finally found it in this book. The book gives a good background on what to expect for someone going to Kazakhstan, and I really liked the photographs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2005

    I Love This Book! The Lost Art of Journals

    There was a time when our information about distant lands came from world travelers (remember Richard Halliburton?) who observed, participated in cultural miscegenation, and daily recorded their findings and feelings in journals which were later to become the informational resource for those folk who were able to visit the planet solely from the comfort of their home reading chair. Now the media blitz puts us anywhere on the globe, and even off the globe, funneling back photos and documentation that rarely give us story and even less rarely provide insight into the places and peoples captured and transmitted by satellite. Keith Rosten may be a lawyer and teacher by occupation, but by gift he is a humanist and a wise transmitter of information. In this very readable book (try putting it down!) Rosten provides a day by day journal of his experiences in Kazakhstan in a way that draws us not only into the history of this vast land of 'In the Steppes of Central Asia', but also into the people who have been part of this huge country, a country that preceded the USSR and was subsequently absorbed in that beomoth and now is regaining its own identity. There is much to learn about the fascinating social and political history of this land, but even more important to us as readers is the grace with which Rosten introduces us to the people: the customs, the language, the food, the living conditions, the customs and joys and tribulations of this fascinating band of survivors. Rosten includes snapshots that enhance his observations and in general provides us with a crisp, intelligent, witty, wry and ultimately warmly informative diary. Highly recommended for students of Russian culture, for those confused by the land mass diaspora post USSR, and for the gentle reader who is just curious about that other side of the world! Grady Harp, March 05

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    Posted September 17, 2009

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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