Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, the Persians, Sassanians and Russians all invaded Turkmenistan. This ancient nation has been occupied and ruled by one empire or another for centuries. The last was the Soviet Union. In 1991, Turkmenistan finally became an independent, self-governing country. Any hope of true independence for the people, though, was short-lived when the newly-elected president outlawed any dissent, opposition, or other means of democracy. Part of "The Growth and Influence of Islam" series, this title is not about the religion, cultural beliefs, or even individuals, but how Islam fits into Turkmenistan's politics, government, and lifestyles. In addition, the text focuses on how the new regime affects the country and international relationships. Topics discussed include geography, animals, plants, history, economics, politics, religion, major cities, and daily life. The length and book style looks more like middle grade, but the text level may be more appropriate for high school. A glossary, timeline, "at-at-glance," and a book and website bibliography are included. This is an excellent resource for teachers and students. 2005, Mason Crest Publishers, Ages 10 to 15.