Svat Soucek's book offers a short and accessible introduction to the history of Inner Asia. The narrative, which begins with the arrival of Islam, charts the rise and fall of the different dynasties right up to the Russian conquest. Dynastic tables and maps augment and elucidate the text. The contemporary focus rests on the seven countries which make up the core of present-day Eurasia, that is Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Sinkiang and Mongolia. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, renewed interest in these countries has prompted considerable political, cultural, economic and religious debate. While a divergent literature has evolved in consequence, no comprehensive survey of the region has been attempted. Soucek's history promises to fill this gap and to become an indispensable source of information for anyone studying or visiting the region.
Introduction; 1. The beginnings; 2. The Kok Turks, Chinese expansion and the Arab conquest; 3. The Samanids; 4. The Uighur kingdom of Qocho; 5. The Qarakhanids; 6. Seljukids and Ghaznavids; 7. The conquering Mongols; 8. The Chaghatayids; 9. Timur and the Timurids; 10. The last Timurids and the first Uzbeks; 11. The Shaybanids; 12. The rise of Russia, the fall of the Golden Horde, and the resilient Chaghatayids; 13. The Buddhist Mongols; 14. Bukhara, Khiva, and Khoqand in the seventeenth - nineteenth centuries; 15. The Russian conquest and rule of Central Asia; 16. From the Governates-General to Union Republics; 17. Soviet Central Asia; 18. Central Asia becomes independent; 19. Sinkiang as part of China; 20. Independent Central Asian Republics; 21. The Republic of Mongolia.