About Kazakhstan, Page 2

Have you read any of the books listed here? Would you like to let others know what you thought of it? If so, please fill out a Book Review [form link] and I will add your comments. All of these book links open in a new window link in new window, so that you can continue to browse my bookstore while purchasing the books. Unfortunately, some of these books are no longer in print and may be hard to find. A red diamond next to a book indicates that it has been added in the last month. Books for children about Kazakhstan are included here.

Alphabetically by author, H-P

Kazakhstan: Entering the Future Kazakhstan: Entering the Future link in new window
by Akezhan Kazhegeldin, published December 2002
"In Kazakhstan: Entering the Future, Azekhan Kazhegeldin examines the benefits that can be accrued from adopting a Western-model mixed economy for Kazakhstan, but cautions against wholesale transplantation of the model. He stresses that account must be taken of objective differences between Kazakhstan and the West, in terms of the present level of development of the production base, and the state of labor motivation. He asserts that it is vital to press ahead with reforms because much work remains to be done."

Diplomatic Baggage Diplomatic Baggage link in new window
by Brigid Keenan, published March 2007
"Brigid Keenan was a glamorous and successful young London fashion journalist. But falling in love with a diplomat saw her leave behind the gilt chairs of the Paris salons for a large chicken shed in the forests of Nepal. Thirty years later (at the farewell party for the Papal Nuncio in Kazakhstan), Brigid found herself wondering whether her decision had been the right one. This is her marvelous account of life as a "trailing spouse" -- an endlessly engaging tale of diplomatic protocol, difficult teenagers, homesickness, frustrated career aspirations, witch doctors, and giant jumping spiders."

New book:

Atlas of Southwest and Central Asia Atlas of Southwest and Central Asia link in new window
by Felicia Law, published January 2008, grades 2-4
"Splitting this immense continent in two makes sense as there are tremendous contrasts. Southwest ranges from the Arctic regions of Russia to the subtropics of India with the deserts of the Middle East between. Far East begins in China and continues south through the islands of Indonesia. An introductory spread in each book locates the region on a world map and provides basic geographic and map-skills information. The next spread identifies countries and includes images of their flags, lists of national foods, and other miscellaneous information. The remaining sections each include a map of the region on one page with accompanying information facing it, and cover "Landforms," "Bodies of Water," "Climate," "Plants," "Animals," "Population," "Transportation," "Growing and Making" (sections that discuss agriculture, crafts, and industry), "People and Customs," and "Postcard Places." A final essay highlights a location or area of interest, e.g., "Journey Up Mount Everest" or "Sailing Around the Pacific Islands." Bright background colors and short introductory paragraphs make the pages lively. Additional information is included in contrasting call-out boxes, tables, and captioned color photos, though the superimposition of extras on the landform maps sometimes makes reading them more difficult. Still, these are useful additions. - Carol S. Surges, McKinley Elementary School, Wauwatosa, WI Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. "

Countries of the World: Kazakhstan Countries of the World: Kazakhstan link in new window
by Lily Loy, published October 2004. Part of the Countries of the World series, ages 10+, reading level grade 6 and up.
"This engaging series offers readers a close-up look at countries around the world. Vivid color photographs enhance up-to-date information on each country's geography, history, system of government, lifestyle, language, art, food, and more. A section of special features provides a window into each country's unique customs as well as its current issues. Each volume details its country's current and historical relations with the United States and Canada. Also included in each volume is a black and white classroom map, easy to photocopy for classroom activities." I think that this book would be a terrific addition for your home library; lots of pictures and information.

Law and Custom in the Steppe Law and Custom in the Steppe: The Kazakhs of the Middle Horde and Russian Colonialism in the Nineteenth Century link in new window by Virginia Martin, published April 2001
"This study offers a reconstruction of the social, cultural and legal history of the Middle Horde Kazakh steppe within the Russian Empire in the nineteenth century. Using largely untapped archival records from Kazakhstan and Russia, as well as ethnographic research, administrative reports, the provincial press and scholarly analyses, it explores the cross-cultural encounter of laws, customs and judicial practices in the process of Russian empire-building at the local level."

You've Got Mail from Kazakhstan You've Got Mail from Kazakhstan link in new window
by Sally and Stan Mesh, published September 2003
"This collection of family e-mail correspondence reveals the fears and tribulations of a mother and father relocated to a nation and region far from the suburban culture from which they had come. The observations encompass helicopter trips over an Asian mountain range, opera, ballet, the International Ladies Society in the capital city of Almaty, and an unforgettable six-day trip on the historic Silk Road of Central Asia to the ancient homeland of Tamerlane in Samarkand and Bukhara in central Uzbekistan. These letters reveal a couple who became experts on the integration of an emerging, isolated nation into a new international business community." This couple was associated with IBM Corporation.

Gift of the USA Gift of the USA link in new window
by Ruth Moss, published December 2002
"This is a non-fiction book set in the former Soviet Union six years after its collapse. The United States has for years sent sacks of flour to impoverished countries stamped Gift of the USA. But the people in those countries can t read that. They don t know that the food they are receiving is a gift from the people of the United States. The US also sends Peace Corps volunteers to needy countries to spread the good will of our people. The American taxpayer tends to consider the Peace Corps to be the equivalent of motherhood and apple pie not knowing that the inexperienced and often self serving volunteers cause many hardships for the people they are sent to serve, mainly by taking the jobs of wage earners in areas of vast unemployment. This and other imprudent actions of these well educated but inexperienced volunteers give rise to resentment and animosity towards the US instead of imbuing the good will the American taxpayer thinks he is getting for his tax dollars. This is the story of the suffering caused by Peace Corps volunteers in the former Soviet Union and the resultant anger felt by the local people towards America."

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Kazakhstans New Economy

Link recently added:

Kazakhstan Emerging Economy in a Global Era link in new window
by Jay Nathan, published February 2007
"Kazakhstan has faced severe economic challenges since it gained independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991. Kazakhstan?s New Economy explores how the country might shed the outdated business practices that continue to hamper its growth. Jay Nathan first provides a historical overview of the economy and then delves deeper into the strengths and weaknesses of nine major industries, including oil and gas, banking, telecommunications, and transportation. Nathan?s careful analysis and recommendations will provide valuable insight for anyone interested in Central Asia?s economic growth. 'An excellent resource on major industries in Kazakhstan.'-Byrganym Aitimova, Minister of Education and Science, the Republic of Kazakhstan"

Post-Soviet Chaos Post-Soviet Chaos link in new window
by Joma Nazpary, published January 2002
"In the 1990s the former states of the Soviet Union underwent dramatic and revolutionary changes. As a result of enforced, neo-liberal reforms the fledgling republics were exposed to the familiar effects of globalized capital. Focusing on Kazakhstan where violence and corruption are now facts of everyday life, Joma Nazpary examines the impact of the new capitalism on the people of Central Asia. Using in-depth interviews and material gathered over more than a year's fieldwork, Nazpary explores the responses of the dispossessed to their dispossession. He uncovers the construction of "imagined communities", grounded in Soviet nostalgia, which serve to resist the economic order, as well as the more practical survival strategies, especially of women, often forced into prostitution where they are subject to violence and stigma. By revealing the extent to which Kazakh society has disintegrated and the cultural responses to it, Nazpary argues that dispossession has been a stronger unifying force than even ethnicity or religion. Comparing the effects of neo-liberal reforms in Kazakhstan with those in other regions, he concludes that causes, forms and consequences of dispossession in Kazakhstan are particular instances of a much wider global trend."

The Kazakhs The Kazakhs link in new window
by Martha Brill Olcott, 2nd ed. published January 1995 (out of print)
"This complete history of one of the largest non-Slavic ethnic groups charts it from its emergence in the mid-fifteenth century to the present. Martha Brill Olcott details the major events that have shaped the character of the Islamic nation of Kazakhstan, discussing the rise and fall of the Kazakh khanate, the Kazakhs in imperial Russia, revolutionary and Soviet Kazakhstan, and the struggle for autonomy under Soviet rule... Outlining changes in Kazakh historiography since the fall of the Soviet Union, this volume identifies areas of contention and ways in which new groups of scholars, using new sources, are approaching them."

Kazakhstan: Unfulfilled Promise Kazakhstan: Unfulfilled Promise link in new window
by Martha Brill Olcott (Editor), published February 2002
"At the outset of independence 10 years ago, Kazakhstan's leaders promised that the country's rich natural resources, with oil and gas reserves among the largest in the world, would soon bring economic prosperity, and it appeared that democracy was beginning to take hold in this newly independent state. A decade later, economic reform is mired in widespread corruption. A regime that flirted with democracy is now laying the foundation for family-based, authoritarian rule. This book examines the development of this ethnically diverse and strategically vital nation. Kazakhstan: Unfulfilled Promise also looks at shortcomings of U.S. policy in the region and at the future challenges that Kazakhstan will pose to the United States and international institutions." Search the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace link in new window web site for links to the Table of Contents, Chapter One and Index (all in PDF).

Kazakhstan (Modern World Nations Series) Kazakhstan (Modern World Nations Series) link in new window
by Zoran Pavlovic, published March 2003
"Gr 7-9-While the geography and history sections of this book provide decent overviews, the one on people and culture has a serious error. A chart indicates that between 1989 and 1999, the Uzbek population increased to 39.6 million and another minority population, the Uighurs, to 28.8 million, when in fact the figures should have been 39,600 and 28,800 respectively. Also, when discussing lifestyles, the author emphasizes the nomadic Kazakhs and their unique customs while ignoring the urban residents. A map in the geography section doesn't include all of the cities and regions or the important oil and natural gas reserves. In the final chapter on the future of Kazakhstan, the author suggests that there is a need for the formation of a bilingual society in which the majority of people speak both the Kazakh and Russian languages. In fact, many urban Kazakhs speak only Russian as do the ethnic Slavs. Finally, the last half of the book contains a number of annoying typos. The color photos are good; one only wishes that there were more of them, as in Pang Guek-Cheng's Kazakhstan. -Elizabeth Talbot, University of Illinois, Champaign Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information."

New book:

Kazakhstan (Nations in the News Series) Kazakhstan (Nations in the News Series) link in new window
by Charles Piddock, published July 2006
"Nations in the News uncovers the facts behind the headlines, focusing on six "flashpoint" nations around the globe to examine why they are in the news today. Clear text describes both the historical significance of each country and its current relations with the rest of the world. The text is supported by maps and primary sources, and numerous sidebars focus on items of particular interest. "Fast Facts" boxes and brief biographies provide additional information and make this series ideal for student reports."

Muslim Turkistan Muslim Turkistan link in new window
by Bruce G. Privratsky, published June 2001
"Bruce Privratsky accounts for the persistence of Kazak religion during the Soviet period by the strength of the contextualization of Islam in the nomadic period and the capacity of the collective memory to store religious values in attenuated ritual forms. The author reconstructs collective memory theory in the light of the Kazak case, stripping it of its postmodernist baggage, and proposing a place for it in a general theory of religion."

For information on the Kazakh language, please refer to the Kazakh Language page.

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Page last updated on 21 July 2009.

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