Reviews

This short book is devoted to the life and the political activity (after 1917) of Mustafa Chuqay (1890-1942), a leader of the Autonomous Government of Kokand (November 1917 – February 1918), and later one of the main figures of the Promethean anti-Soviet movement ― the subject of the present book. The author successively deals with the movement’s birth (pp. 21-32), its aims (33-8), Chuqay’s collaboration with European newspapers (39-48), the journal Yash Turkistan (49-60), Stalin’s action against the movement (61-82), the latter’s restructuration by the mid-1930s (83-94), its main ideas on nationalism and Soviet society (95-126), the attitude of Russian historians toward Chuqay after the collapse of Soviet Union (127-38), and the legacy of the Promethean movement (139-42). Despite the book’s inclination towards apology, its author’s explicit anti-Soviet feelings, and the poor French editing, the volume offers valuable factual information documented by primary material preserved in Paris and its region: in the Archive of the French Ministry of Foreign Affair in La Courneuve; in the Historical Service of the Army in Vincennes; in the files of the Georgian government in exile preserved at the Bibliothèque de Documentation Internationale Contemporaine (BDIC, Nanterre); in Chuqay’s personal archive at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilisation in Paris ― inventory made by Edward J. Lazzerini, “The Archive of Mustaf Chokay Bey: An Inventory,” Cahiers du monde russe et soviétique 21/2 (1980) pp. 235-239 ―; and in the personal archives of Chuqay’s wife Marina Gorina-Choqay. The reader deplores the author’s silence on the Turkistan Legion of the Nazi Army, except a mention of Chuqay’s non-participation in its organisation. Whatever the book’s shortcomings, it sheds a useful light on the appalling situation of many intellectuals from Turkistan or from the Caucasus during the interwar period, many of whom were brought by the launching of the Second World War to join Nazi Germany.

Cloé Drieu, School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, Paris
CER: II-3.1.D-149