It sounds like the stuff of a fiction thriller: two revolutions, a massacre of unarmed civilians, a civil war, a drug-smuggling highway, brazen corruption schemes, contract hits, and larger-than-life characters who may be villains . . . or heroes . . . or possibly both. Yet this book is not a work of fiction. It is instead a gripping, firsthand account of Central Asia’s unIt sounds like the stuff of a fiction thriller: two revolutions, a massacre of unarmed civilians, a civil war, a drug-smuggling highway, brazen corruption schemes, contract hits, and larger-than-life characters who may be villains . . . or heroes . . . or possibly both. Yet this book is not a work of fiction. It is instead a gripping, firsthand account of Central Asia’s unfolding history from 2005 to the present.Philip Shishkin, a prize-winning journalist with extensive on-the-ground experience in the tumultuous region above Afghanistan’s northern border, focuses mainly on Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Both nations have struggled with the enormous challenges of post-Soviet independent statehood; both became entangled in America’s Afghan campaign when U.S. military bases were established within their borders. At the same time, the region was developing into a key smuggling hub for Afghanistan’s booming heroin trade. Through the eyes of local participants—the powerful and the powerless—Shishkin reconstructs how Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have ricocheted between extreme repression and democratic strivings, how alliances with the United States and Russia have brought mixed blessings, and how Stalin’s legacy of ethnic gerrymandering incites conflict even now....
|Title||:||Restless Valley: Revolution, Murder, and Intrigue in the Heart of Central Asia|
|Number of Pages||:||328 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Restless Valley: Revolution, Murder, and Intrigue in the Heart of Central Asia Reviews
It may be difficult for me not to love this book because I am currently on assignment in Kyrgyzstan. I admit it. However, the story telling by the journalist/author is first rate. This is not a story but a history that truly reads like a novel.Within its pages you'll find dictators, crime bosses, and citizens rising up. Those citizens are jailed, tortured, and occasionally escape from Central Asia. One of the last stories was about a woman jailed for reselling teapots. Teapots? Why would this pull a 7 year jail sentence?I recognize some of the names, like Edil Baisalov and Roza Attunbayeva (sp?), guests of my Ambassador. Odd. I came here not being able to recognize or speak the names, but gradually the names in their central asian and russian dialect have stuck with me. The names could cause you to stumble, but the stories remain.I have only one other book I would recommend higher than this one. I wish this was written before I moved to Bishkek.
I began reading this book with some trepidation, as so much of the scarce writing on Central Asia is badly written and/or distorted (by ignorance, by political or cultural biases, by academese, etc), but it's genuinely good. Having lived in Kyrgyzstan during and immediately after some of the events described in the book, it was a joy to read such a well-crafted narrative that doesn't twist the complicated reality of the place to achieve that narrative. A riveting book that finally gives me a book to recommend without reservations to people who want to understand Central Asia better.
Other than Afghanistan and Pakistan, "The Stans" have always been an area of the world greatly under represented in mainstream American literature. We know "the stans" are there. We know they used to be Russian. That's about it. This book made me connect with this area of the world on a personal level. The author has clearly traveled there and his writing describes things in a way that engage you rather than spit out boring historical facts. I think this book should be added to all world history classes.
A journalistic history on recent events in Central Asia, and particularly Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. This book is a must for anyone moving to the area, or interested in the background as to why this area functions the way it does.
Excellent insight to an often forgotten part of the world.
Can't wait to read this book:http://yalepress.yale.edu/book.asp?is...I have read many of Philip Shishkin's articles on Central Asia and he's had some of the best stuff.Example of a great tweet of his:https://twitter.com/philip_shishkin/s...if u commit mass murder, your thoughts on education become irrelevant @globaltimesnews oped on #Mao U.S. debate http://bit.ly/Ypt04y Re: Global TimesMao furor shows truth of US free speech"The US, which prides itself in freedom of speech, can’t even tolerate a quote from Mao."
Subtitled, "Revolution, Murder, and Intrigue in the Heart of Central Asia." Set mostly in Kyrgyzstan, but also slipping over the borders into the other adjacent "-stans," this tome outlines the nature of our friends-of-convenience whom we needed to prosecute our now-declared successful ten-year war on Afghanistan. With our willingness to engage with friends like these, I fear for our cultural soul.
One of the more fascinating books I've read in the past decade. Shishkin's book, as others have pointed out, reads almost like a novel as it portrays the fascinating world of Central Asia. Highly recommended for folks who want to read an engaging account of a part of the world that many Westerners would consider culturally remote, mysterious, and intriguing.
Enjoyed this book for the most part though I did have a somewhat hard time following some of the names and timeline. The book seemed to jump around quite a bit. Granted, my knowledge about the events covered in the book was very limited before I started reading.
Interesting book. A little repetitive in places.