Reviews

Dealing with the central figure of Bashkir post-Soviet historiography, this detailed article manages not to take sides in the quibbles that have arisen in the 1990s on the historical interpretation of Ahmad Zaki Walidi ‘Togan’ (1890-1970)’s political activities.  Based on the latter’s memoirs, this thematic biography provides interesting statements on the central role played by Togan’s family background in his growing interest in the history of Turkic peoples—from his learning of Arabic and Persian language, respectively with his father and his mother, and his early contacts with scholars of Islam from Bukhara and with members of the Naqshbandiyya mystical path, to his acquaintance with thinkers of his time, Muslim or not, like Renan and ‘Abduh.  The author then exposes already known information on Togan’s public life from in engagement at the Qasimiyya Madrasa of Kazan in 1909 to his exile to Turkey in 1923.  More interesting are explanations on his work as a publicist and a scientist, especially on his publication in 1911, with Bartol’d’s support, of his “History of Turks and Tatars”.  Useful statements are also provided on Togan’s activities during his stays in Paris (1924), Berlin (1925), and Vienna (1935-39).  This article provides a good introduction to Togan’s life despite the lack of an in-deep analysis of his position of a Turkist thinker fighting in favour of Bashkir national claims.

Xavier Le Torrivellec, National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilisations, Paris
CER: I-1.2.B-65