Historical Dictionary of Kazakhstan (Historical Dictionaries of Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East)

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9780810867826: Historical Dictionary of Kazakhstan (Historical Dictionaries of Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East)
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Kazakhstan is in some ways a very old nation dating back to the Kazakh Khanate of 1458, but it dramatically transformed within the Russian Empire and even more so during the period when it was part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Since 1991 it has been independent and has had to forge its own policy in all fields. Kazakhstan is in an enviable position in terms of exportable natural resources, but at the same time it is faced with many domestic problems, such as an inadequate infrastructure. Along with solving a multitude of social problems, Kazakhstan has had to simultaneously create a normal functioning state, which added to its political difficulties. The situation at present is a state run by a strong ruler, which solves some problems but creates others.

The Historical Dictionary of Kazakhstan covers the history of Kazakhstan through a chronology, an introductory essay, appendixes, and a bibliography. The dictionary section has over 400 cross-referenced entries on important personalities, politics, economy, foreign relations, religion, and culture. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Kazakhstan.

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About the Author:

Didar Kassymova is senior lecturer at the Kazakh Institute for Management, Economics, and Strategic Research, specializing in the history and politics of Central Asia and Kazakhstan. She is currently working on a doctoral dissertation analyzing the history of Russians in Kazakhstan.

Zhanat Kundakbayeva is associate professor at the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. She has written in Russian and Kazakh publications on Russian history and ethnic groups in the Caspian and Central Asian region, and in 2003 won a presidential grant as a distinguished scholar of Kazakhstan.

Ustina Markus is a specialist on the former Soviet republics. From 2009 until 2011 she was the Head of the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kurdistan-Hewler in northern Iraq. Dr. Markus has an extensive record of publications on the former Soviet republics and is currently engaged in research on the oil industry.

Review:

The authors—professors at Kazakh universities—begin this work with a short section explaining some of the choices in transliteration and spelling, followed by a brief introduction to the history and people of Kazakhstan, which borders Russia and China. The dictionary includes the names of historical and contemporary figures, cities, historic sites, ethnic groups, policies, and movements as well as definitions of words that are essential to understanding the Kazakhs. A good starting resource for someone with little knowledge of the country. (Booklist)

The format is approximately 400 alphabetic entries, with cross-references, about significant people, places, events, organizations and institutions, the economy, and society and its culture. There is a chronology that provides an overview of the country's history, especially for the twentieth century. The author carefully assesses the key issues in Kazakhstan's history and its attempt to establish a democratic and market-oriented economy using its vast exportable natural resources. An extensive bibliography to additional resources about this evolving republic is provided. This work is recommended for all library country study collections. (American Reference Books Annual)

Written by several scholars who specialize in Kazakh history and politics, this dictionary features 400-plus entries related to the history of Kazakhstan from about 1200 CE to the present. Cowritten by Kassymova (KIMEP Univ.), Kundakbayeva (Al-Farabi Kazakh National Univ., Almaty), and Markus (formerly, Univ. of Kurdistan-Hewler, Iraq), entries are fairly short and lack bibliographies; however, an extensive general bibliography completes the work. Biographical entries are numerous and helpful, and much of the information here on historical and cultural figures is difficult to find anywhere else. Likewise, entries on historical events, political parties, and themes such as language, literature, and mass media are often lengthy and give excellent detail....This is a useful addition to the literature, since so few standard works exist for this country. Summing Up: Recommended. (CHOICE)

Kazakhstan is a geopolitically important country on which very little has been written, so [this] new reference source is welcomed. (s)

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