Reviews

Built up on a research in the State Central Archive of Uzbekistan (Fund 10 op. 1; 17 op. 1; 87 op. 1), this article sheds light on the issues at stake in the transformation of the Amu Darya Section into an Amu-Darya Region within the Turkespublika in October 1920. After short considerations on initial conflicts of the new administration with the nomadic component of its population, and with the neighbouring Popular Soviet Republic of Khwarezm (about islands on the lower course of the Amu-Darya River), the author shortly draws a picture of the functioning of the Executive Committee of the Amu-Darya Region. His attention has been drawn to the rapid turn-over among the administrative personnel of the region, and to the latter’s continuous moaning on the lack of means and staff, in particular for the implementation of the new regime’s land and agricultural policy. The peripheral situation of the region drove one of its political leaders, Muhammad-Jan Baljanoff, to appeal in 1922 for its union with the Khwarezm Republic on the basis of ecological, climatic, and economic criteria. His proposal was however repelled and the situation of the region continued for long to provoke analogous comments on the part of its administrator. As it is the case of many Central Asian historical studies based exclusively on Russian-language archive documents of the early Soviet period, the author too often satisfies himself with the reproduction of derogatory judgements on the “unsatisfactory” character and on the “mistakes” of the new state apparatus, without any kind of critical distance towards these bureaucratic categories. No attention has been given by the author to the inner political conflicts within the region’s administrative apparatus, as they were notably expressed on the occasion of the debates about the reunion with the Khwarezm Republic.

The Redaction
CER: II-3.4.D-295