Reviews

This article is comprised essentially of lists of the “positive” influences of various Russians (writers, officials, scientists) on the Kazakh “enlightener” Chokan Valikhanov, from his days as a student at the Omsk Cadet Corps in the early 1850s to his brief time in St. Petersburg in the early 1860s.  The analysis is based largely on published memoirs and collections of documents from the time, but the author (at the time of publication of his article, a Candidate of Historical Sciences at Kostanai State University, Kazakhstan) offers no new insights and no information that is not already presented in similar russo-centric pieces dating from the 1950s, if not earlier.  (In fact, Veselovskii’s 1904 remembrance of Valikhanov has a similar tone, which presents the Russian Empire and its civilising “missionaries” as the creators of this amasing individual:  through these eyes, Valikhanov owed his talents to Russian influences.)  The silence is deafening from sources that could have offered insights into his identity as a Muslim Kazakh nomad living in a Russian world.  Chokan Valikhanov awaits a worthy biographer.

Virginia Martin, University of Wisconsin, Madison
CER: I-3.4.C-290