Russian Central Asia, 1867-1917
Russian Central Asia is the vast area, half as large as the United States, extending from the Caspian Sea to China, from Siberia to northern Iran. Ever since its conquest by Russia in the nineteenth century this region has been both an asset and a problem—because of its strategic and economic importance and because of its several million Moslem inhabitants, to this day unassimilated and unreconciled to Russian control. This book describes events under Imperial Russian rule, treating the period in the light of the conflict between nineteenth-century concepts “the white man’s burden” and the awakening aspirations of colonial peoples, and as part of the contest between Western imperialism and the Islamic world. It shows the enduring geographic, political, and cultural factors that must be faced by an regime in Central Asia, provides a basis for comparison between the methods and motives of the Imperial Russian colonizers and those of the Soviet regime, and refutes misconceptions regarding Russian colonizing techniques.
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