Reviews

This publication makes available a rich collection of archival documents on the rebellion of Ya‘qub Beg and the diplomatic history of his short-lived regime. The result of research in the Foreign Policy and Military-Historical Archives in Moscow, and the State Archives of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, it contains more than a hundred letters and excerpts from other materials (reports, diplomatic journals) detailing Ya‘qub Beg’s interactions with Russian authorities ― be they the local Russian consulate, the Governor-General of Turkistan, or the imperial court in St Petersburg. The documents offer insights into bilateral negotiations as well as into internal Russian deliberations, on matters of trade, diplomatic recognition, military assistance and/or intervention, and the dispatch of Kashghari emissaries to St Petersburg. Among the many highlights is the translation of a letter from Ya‘qub Beg to Khudayar Khan of Kokand (dated November 1872), in which Ya‘qub Beg defends himself against the khan’s accusations of hubris! While the volume does not include any material relating to the Ili Valley, it does offer several items of correspondence with the Ürümchi Dungan leader Tuo Ming (Hazrat-i Daud), who sought Russian support for his delicate balancing act between Ya‘qub Beg to the south and Qing forces to the east. A brief introduction and bibliography is also provided.

David J. Brophy, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
CER: II-3.5.B-317