To our knowledge, the present book, and the recent treatise by the same author on the history of “military Oriental studies” in Russia (see the review supra 27) provide one of the first tentative overviews of Oriental—here, mainly Central Eurasian, Chinese and Manchurian—studies in the Russian Empire since the reference work by S. D. Miliband (curiously absent from the bibliography). Far from satisfying himself with the data available in the rich literature of the Soviet period (esp. Miliband herself, and V. B. Lunin on Central Asia) and of the past decade (A. A. Kolesnikov, N. A. Samoilov, G. P. Vasil’eva . . .) on the historiography of Oriental studies in the Russian Empire, the author has been exploiting the resources of a rich archive material on the careers of each figure introduced in the volume. A short introduction (5-7) is followed by a biographical dictionary, each notice of which is divided into two parts: one on the military career of each figure, documented notably by unpublished archive material; one on his written work, whether published or not. Each notice ends up with a personal bibliography, and with a list of written sources, both as exhaustive as possible given the present state of scholarship.