Reviews

On the basis of a very limited amount of local archive documents (notably party addresses and proclamations preserved in the Biruni Institute of Oriental Studies, Tashkent), of collections of the regional press of Turkistan (al-Izah, Kingash, Ulugh Turkistan, Turkistanskii kur’er), as well as the secondary historical literature of the past decade, young historian M. Zikrulloev analyses the activity of the ‘Ulama Society (Jam‘iyyat al-‘Ulama) political party in the city Duma that functioned in Tashkent from June to December 1917. The author notably insists on the divergences between the Muslim parties Shura-yi Islamiyya and the “Society” as to the participation of women in elections, and on the opposition of progressives after the society’s victory in the ballot with 62 seats on a total of 112 (for 74 natives against 38 Europeans). He then evokes some of the main debates organised by the Society during the Duma’s ephemeral existence, beginning with the levelling up of the salaries of Muslim schools to the level of the emoluments perceived by their counterparts in Russian schools. It is regrettable that such important aspects as the election system to the City Duma, the latter’s relations with the City Soviet, the range of subjects debated by the assembly, and the balance of power between Turkic-speaking majority and Russian-speaking minority within it have not been evoked, which is also the case of numerous recent works by Western historians on city life in the Turkistan territory during the late Tsarist, revolutionary, and early Soviet periods.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: II-3.4.C-289