Zhuldyz Tulibaeva bases her concise study of Kazakh-Bukharan relations primarily on Bukharan manuscript narrative histories, covering not only political and military relations, but also economic relations between the Kazakhs and Bukhara. The author divides her monograph into three sections. The first provides an overview of the mainly Russian-language historiography of Kazakh-Bukharan relations. The bulk of this literature dates from the Soviet period. The second section discusses the Persian-language narrative sources produced in the Emirate of Bukhara that form source-base for her monograph. She argues that Persian-language sources provide a rich body of information that is largely unavailable in Russian sources.
She identifies as one of the most important sources the Tuhfat al-khani by Muhammad-Wafa Karminagi, also known as the Tarikh-i Rahim Khan. She also underscores the importance of the Taj at-Tawarikh by Muhammad-Sharif b. Muhammad, and ‘Abd al-Karim al-Bukhari’s “History of Central Asia”. The third section covers in separate chapters the political and economic relations between the Kazakhs and Bukhara. These Persian sources provide the most detailed information on political ties, including military rivalry for territory, three-way relations between Bukhara, the Kazakhs, and Kokand, especially in the nineteenth century, and Kazakh participation in internecine struggles in Bukhara. The author indicates that the narrative sources provide limited information on trade between the Kazakhs and Bukhara, but nevertheless enough to establish that regular trade was a feature of these relationships as well.
Two of the three appendices include Russian translations of excerpts of two manuscripts. The first is an extended excerpt from a copy of the Dhikr-i ta‘dad-i padishahan-i uzbak, located in the collection of the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences in Tashkent. The second translation is an excerpt from the Tuhfat al-khani from the same collection. The third appendix is a list with substantial annotations of manuscript and printed Islamic narrative histories containing information on relations between the Kazakhs and the Central Asian khanates. Tulibaeva’s list is not restricted to Persian sources, but also includes Turkic works, such as the Khwarezmian narrative histories Firdaws al-Iqbal by Mu’nis, and the Khwarazm tarikhi of Bayani. She also devotes particular attention in this appendix to the early twentieth-century work Tawarikh-i khamsa-yi sharqi by Qurban-‘Ali Khalidi.