From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-The strength of this book lies in its clear delineation of geographic contrasts, current issues facing these relatively new states, and their shared history. The emphasis throughout, both in the text and in the illustrations, is on the ethnic groups native to Central Asia. Only passing references are made to Slavic minorities. There is an error in the population of Kazakhstan in the "Facts about the Central Asian States" that is repeated in the text. The section on daily life is very interesting, though the distinction between urban and rural life is not well made. The pages on architecture focus mainly on the impressive Islamic architecture of the past, and all of the photos are in black and white. It's unfortunate that readers don't see any contemporary architecture influenced by Central Asian traditions. To the credit of the authors, they do not shy away from describing the authoritarian tendencies in this region, but there's too little information on its economic potential. However, these minor criticisms do not obviate the fact that this book is a good introduction to a very complex region.
Elizabeth Talbot, University of Illinois, Champaign
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover
Gr. 6-12. The Silk Road between Europe and China was speckled with small nations diverse in historical, religious, and cultural traditions. This entry in the Modern Nations of the World: Former Soviet Republics series first takes readers through a traditional study of the five former Soviet republics (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan), discussing the geography, climate, and major cities, people, and history of the region as a whole. An intriguing discussion of the current political and social climate of the area follows, with a rich exploration of religious (mostly Islamic) traditions, and information on art, music, health care, minorities, education, and industry. Other chapters tackle the states' efforts to become part of the twenty-first century's international landscape. Well-chosen black-and-white photos, a "Facts about Central Asia" outline, and a chronology effectively highlight major points of the text, and a thorough index will prove helpful for young researchers. Roger Leslie
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.