Synopses & Reviews
The former Soviet republics of Central Asia comprise a sprawling, politically pivotal, densely populated, and richly cultured area of the world that is nonetheless poorly represented in libraries and mainstream media. Since their political incorporation in Stalin's Soviet era, these countries have gone through a flash of political and economical evolution. But despite these rapid changes, the growth of oil wealth and U.S. jockeying, and the opening of the region to tourists and businessmen, the spirit of Central Asia has remained untouched at its core. In this comprehensive new treatment, renowned political writer and historian Dilip Hiro offers us a narrative that places the modern politics, peoples, and cultural background of this region firmly into the context of current international focus. Given the strategic location of Central Asia, its predominantly Muslim population, and its hydrocarbon and other valuable resources, it comes as no surprise that the five Central Asian republics are emerging in the twenty-first century as one of the most potentially influential-and coveted-patches of the globe.
"For those who still get their "-stans" mixed up, Hiro's book provides a detailed and nuanced overview of the region of central Asia. He explains the ethnic tensions, religious intolerance and struggle for political identity in the lands caught between two behemoths the splintered Soviet empire and the rising Chinese one."
-Financial Times, Best Books of 2009
"Readers acquainted with Mr.Hiro's prolific writing about Asia and the Islamic world will be unsurprised to learn that Inside Central Asia is a conscientious guide to the region, full of dependable history-telling and analysis."
"Hiro's account provides a fast-moving and well-sourced genealogy of the Central Asian republics' political and economic trajectories, focusing on the post-Stalinist period up to the present day. It is unlikely that more comprehensive analysis of this period in Central Asia has been written, and it serves as a valuable update to Hiro¦s earlier Between Marx and Muhammad: the Changing Face of Central Asia."
-Issac Scarborough, n+1
From a critically acclaimed author-a comprehensive history of the part of the world currently making headlines