Reviews

After an introduction dealing with the various trends of Soviet and foreign historigraphies of early-twentieth-century national movements in Central Asia, the author begins his study of the Autonomy of Turkistan with a first chapter on the premises of the idea of autonomy (1898-1917), beginning with the formation and development of Jadidism and the impacts of important political events (the 1905 Revolution, the Constitutionalist Revolution of 1906 in Persia, the Young Turk Revolution of 1908), the consequence of which was an increasing involvement of Central Asian intellectuals in political life (through elections to the first two State Dumas of Russia, the creation of various parties and organisations such as the Ittifaq al-Muslimin and the Shura-yi Islam, the Russian provisional Government, etc.). The second chapter is devoted to the involvement, since the end of 1917, of the peoples of Turkistan in the movement for political independence and the creation of a autonomous government which could gather all the Turkic Muslim peoples of the former Russian Empire within a federative framework. This was promoted by the first local political party, the federalist organisation Turk Adami Markaziyyat. The third and last chapter deal with the realisation of this project through the formation of the Turkistan Autonomy (Turkistan Mukhtariyyati) in late November 1917, as a direct reaction to the declaration of the rights of people to self-determination, taken by Lenin and Stalin and published a few days earlier. This first experience of autonomy was annihilated, though, in February 1918 by the Red Army and gave way in April 1918 to the Soviet Autonomous Republic of Turkestan, subordinated to the Bolshevik power. Based on a wide range of primary sources such as the regional press and a large amount of archival material (from the Uzbek Central State Archive and from the Museum of the History of Uzbekistan), this book offers a very interesting and comprehensible political history of Turkistan during this particularly trouble but decisive period of time before and after the revolutions of 1917 (Uzbek version: Turkiston mukhtoriiati, Tashkent: Ma‘naviiat, 2000, 168 p., ill., bibliography).

Cloé Drieu, School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, Paris
CER: II-3.4.C-270