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Central Asians under Russian Rule: A Study in Culture Change (Cornell Paperbacks) Paperback – December 31, 1980

ISBN-13: 978-0801492112 ISBN-10: 0801492114 Edition: 1st New edition
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Editorial Reviews


"Bacon has produced a landmark study of cultural change in Soviet Central Asia after a century of intensive modernization. She expertly weaves the historical, linguistic, geographic, political, economic, and cultural threads of the region into a fascinating narrative with well-selected photographs and an extensive bibliography. Highly recommended to specialist and generalist alike."―World Affairs

"This well-written book points to an interesting selectivity in the adoption or, on the contrary, rejection of an imported culture."―Royal Anthropological Institute

"This objective, readable account will be a useful addition to literature on Central Asia. The book is well documented with an extensive bibliography."―American Political Science Review

"Central Asians under Russian Rule is at the same time a useful compendium of facts on the native cultures and customs of the pastoral and oasis peoples, and a survey and assessment of the changes wrought in their ways by Russian and Soviet influences."―International Affairs

"Bacon's work stands the test of time amazingly well. Her book may still be the best general introduction to modern Central Asia, especially regarding the sensitive topic of identity and Russification."―Whole Earth

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Product Details

  • Series: Cornell Paperbacks
  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1st New edition edition (December 31, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801492114
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801492112
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,958,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bob Newman VINE VOICE on November 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Back in the bad old days of the Cold War, "China Watchers" were those unfortunate souls who parked themselves in Hong Kong and tried to figure out what was going on in China through analysis of all kinds of trivia, since real news did not reach them. They would glean bits of information from official radio and newspapers and try to build a picture of Chinese reality from it. "Kremlinologists" did the same for the USSR. Bacon's book on Central Asia, first written in 1965, harks back to that dark era, when knowledge about that vast sweep of the continent could not be had for love or money and Google Earth did not exist. Even though the book was re-issued in 1980, with an introduction by a well-known scholar, the contents remained the same. Elizabeth Bacon visited Central Asia only once, in 1934, and met some Russian anthropologists in Kazakhstan during that summer, but never conducted any anthropological studies at all. She never returned. Thus, what we have here is a compendium or handbook containing all the information about the change wrought on the peoples of Central Asia (Kazakh, Kirghiz, Karakalpak, Uzbek, Tajik, and Turkoman) by Tsarist Russian and Soviet power. She collected it from articles, newspapers, books, and other sources over the years. In addition, she deduced some of the picture by looking at "similar" situations and cultures in Iran and Afghanistan, a dicey proposition to say the least. She herself admits (p.157) that "it is often difficult to determine from the Soviet literature the extent of culture change, since descriptions tend to emphasize the Soviet ideal rather than the reality." Now THAT is an understatement if anything !

Bacon's approach derives from the one found in HRAF compendia (Human Resources Area Files of the 50s and 60s).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By William C. Walsh on August 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Yah, I read this book. I live and work in Kyrgzystan and I am always trying to find good books on this region. I really appreciated this book because it was easy to read and facinating. The author first describes what the nomadic lifestyle as well as the sendentary lifestyle was of the Kyrgyz, Kazahk, Turkomen, Tajik, and the Uzbek was like before Russians entered the picture. Then she outlines the change under the Russian Tsarist government and then under the Soviet influence. Written in 1966, it still is relevent especially for anyone living and working in Central Asia.
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