The former Soviet republics of Central Asia comprise a sprawling, politically pivotal, and richly cultured area of the world. Yet they remain poorly represented in libraries and mainstream media. Since their political inception during the rule of Stalin, they have experienced tremendous socio-political change. But despite this, the growth of oil wealth, the arrival of Western tourists and business men, and the competition for influence by the U.S., China and Russia, the spirit of Central Asia has remained untouched at its core.
In this comprehensive, newly updated survey, which the Financial Times selected as one of its Best Books of the Year, renowned political writer and historian Dilip Hiro offers a lucid analysis that places the present-day politics, economics, and peoples of Central Asia and neighboring Turkey and Iran into an international context. Given the strategic location of this region, its predominantly Muslim population, and its hydrocarbon and other valuable resources, it is not surprising that this vast expanse of Eurasia emerging as one of the most potentially influential-and coveted-areas of the globe.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Turkey: From Militant Secularism to Grassroots Islam 62
Chapter 2 Uzbekistan: The Complex Hub of Central Asia 125
Chapter 3 Turkmenistan: Molded by a Megalomaniac Despot 192
Chapter 4 Kazakhstan: Rising Oil State Courted by Big Powers 234
Chapter 5 Kyrgyzstan: The Tulip Revolution, A False Dawn 281
Chapter 6 Tajikistan: The Rise and Fall of Political Islam 310
Chapter 7 Iran: The Geopolitics of the Islamic Revolution 358
Summary and Conclusions 391
Select Bibliography 443