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Inside Central Asia: A Political and Cultural History of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz stan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Iran
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Inside Central Asia: A Political and Cultural History of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz stan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Iran

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  123 ratings  ·  18 reviews
In this comprehensive new treatment, renowned political writer and historian Dilip Hiro places the politics, peoples, and cultural background of this critical region firmly into the context of current international focus.
ebook, 464 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by The Overlook Press (first published 2009)
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This book reads like a history book for the class I never took in college. That is a compliment at times. It's very thorough and it achieved one of my goals in reading it--understanding at a deeper level the five central Asian countries (the ones that end in "-stan") that were formerly part of the Soviet Union. To boot, Hiro adds chapters on Turkey and Iran as the two outside (non-Russian) cultural and political influences on the region, which both help broaden the context of the five republics ...more
A well informed book on the recent history of Central Asia and two of its neighbors with historical ties. If you are at all interested in the Tajik Civil War, this book is one of the best books I have found on the subject in English. A must read for anyone interested in the region
Sajith Kumar
As the title deservedly implies, the book provides a definitive political and cultural history of the Central Asian republics of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Iran. The last two are not central Asian in geography, but shares the same cultural mindset as those who are. These states passed through three distinct phases from medieval tribalism to the present time. Pre-revolutionary Tsars forcefully annexed the states that underwent a radical change under t ...more
I was looking for a general book about Central Asia. This book did give me a general overview of the region. However:

It is filled with spelling and grammatical errors
The introduction and conclusion are essentially the same
The maps are terrible and a good map would have been invaluable
The book recites a lot of facts and dates, but does not do a good job of comparing, contrasting, or drawing conclusions from said facts
Chris Stevenson
This book provides a great contemporary history of the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. The chapters go from country to country, explaining the complex political, religious, and social changes resulting from the collapse of the Soviet Union. Dilip Hiro goes into great detail comparing how each country found its post-Soviet identity, and for the most part it was very fascinating. Some parts can be somewhat boring and dry, especially when explaining the specific dates, numbers, and politic ...more
Mitul Choksi
Out of the very few books in English available about the former Soviet Central Asian republics, this one stands out as easily the best.

A political, economical and cultural history of the Central Asian "stans".

A lucid read and good understanding of the subject makes it a pleasant read.

I suggest you read it.
Paulo Jan brasil
Finally , after reading some superficial and tendentious books about Central Asia , I found a solid and consistent one , that allowed me to get a good approach about that area. Ok , it can also be tendentious in some way...
The chapters are very well written , but some of them contain an excess of informations that made the lecture slower , in order to be followed as well.
Iran and Turkey couldn't stay apart , and their importance to an overall understanding of the Central Asia questions as a whol
Well Organized. Large section devoted to Turkey and Iran. Modern History focus. Informative and easy to read.
Francisco Fortuny carod
A good premier for anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of Central Asia. It blends history, with customs and anecdotes well enough to make it an entertaining reading. It flows quite well. I think there are some inaccuracies when it comes to names or places (especially in the part about Turkey). Sometimes, it finishes the chapters rather abruptly, without giving a hint of how things may develop in the future or where can we find more information--that is at least my impression. Ove ...more
Read for:
- Chapter 1: Turkey: From Militant Secularism to Grassroots Islam
- Summary & Conclusions
- Epilogue

Almost equally viewed both sides to Kemalism and Atatürk's modernization and westernization. Fantastic blend of cultural reflections and general political outcomes. Very comprehensive in regards to the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish War of Independence -- helped clear up the various treaties, annulments, battles, etc.
A very informative book about the history and politics of the region. It took me almost a month to finish it though because some bits were too dry. It would also have helped if there'd been individual maps of the countries at the beginning of each chapter to put the geographical references into context.
Thorough history of the Central Asian Republics, as well as their neighbors Iran and Turkey. The book is full of facts and makes an excellent introduction to the subject, but it is short on analysis. Comparisons among the countries in this book are rare, and the author does not provide any insight into the direction that he believes they are going in.
This book was interesting and informative, but the writing was very dry. The most engaging moment was when the author mentioned his experience with a translator and actually gave a bit of first hand information and brought some personality to the work. Nonetheless, it is a well-researched and thoughtful work.
Read like a college text with too much attention to political issues and not enough to cultural issues. The book definitely needs better and more maps. The two provided are virtually useless.
Austin Wright
Typos well as the slightly superfluous chapters on Turkey and Iran...

...this was an amazing read!!!!!! Highly recommended. I finished the 400 pages in about 2 days.
Very depressing if accurate accounting of recent history of several Central Asian countries.
Quite a good read with lots of details. Some minor factual mistakes though.
did not get through this book - too dry! I am so bad with non-fiction.
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