Reviews

Olga N. Seniutkina has authored and co-authored with her late husband Sergei Seniutkin a number of valuable studies on Tatar history in the Nizhny-Novgorod region. This extensive volume, however, is all too obviously meant to be a chef d’oeuvre, which becomes more than obvious in the extensive introduction (no less than 100 out of 500 pages). Alas, this is the most disappointing part of the book, a largely derailing discussion of disparate fragments of social theories and historical interpretations. To cut a long story short, suffice to say that O. Seniutkina’s attempts at definition of “Turkizm” is broad enough to cater for all sorts of political initiatives that Russia’s Muslims pressed ahead with during the last decade of the Empire’s existence. In essence, the following chapters offer a very broadly conceived history of political articulation of Russia’s Muslims before and after the watershed of the 1905 revolution. While O. Seniutkina attempts to synchronise general political and economical developments within Russia with those in the Ottoman Empire, her synopsis offers little in the way of fresh insight into the development of a “Muslim,” “Tatar” or “Turkic” ideology among first of all Tatar intellectuals. It should be mentioned, however, that O. Seniutkina’s account devotes more space to the period between 1907 and 1914 than other treatises. Even if her sources (archival and published, particularly the Muslim press) have been scrutinised elsewhere before, the rich footnotes will reward a patient reader with some valuable findings.

Christian Noack, National University of Ireland at Maynooth
CER: II-3.1.C-139