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The Resurgence of Central Asia

The Resurgence of Central Asia

Islam or Nationalism?

by Ahmed Rashid, with a new introduction by the author

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The Resurgence of Central Asia is Ahmed Rashid’s seminal study of the states that emerged in the aftermath of the breakup of the Soviet Union: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. All have Muslim majorities and ancient histories but are otherwise very different. Rashid’s book, now with a new introduction by the author examining some of the crucial political developments since its first publication in 1994, provides entrée to this little-known but geopolitically important region. Rashid gives a history of each country, including its incorporation into Tsarist Russia, to the present day, provides basic socioeconomic information, and explains the diverse political situations. He focuses primarily on the underlying issues confronting these societies: the legacy of Soviet rule, ethnic tensions, the position of women, the future of Islam, the question of nuclear proliferation, and the fundamental choices over economic strategy, political system, and external orientation that lie ahead.

Additional Book Information

Series: New York Review Books
ISBN: 9781681370880
Pages: 304
Publication Date:


As an introduction to the history and culture of the region, Ahmed Rashid's is as good as you will find.
- Times Literary Supplement

Ahmed Rashid is one of Pakistan's most gifted and astute political commentators. This account will be of interest to scholars and lay readers alike. What makes it especially valuable is that Rashid's priorities are very different from those of most Western observers.
—Tariq Ali

Ahmed Rashid writes concisely, keeping up a rapid pace starting with the historical background of the region, looking in turn at its five republics - Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - and finally at their common interests and rivalries... Rashid's book is eminently dispassionate and unideological.
The New York Times

The five republics are examined with a sharp eye for detail and an uncanny ability to focus on the internal feuds and rivalries of the newly independent states.

The first readable, thorough account of the region.
Financial Times

A well documented and readable book about societies of great complexity.

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