Since independence in 1991, Kazakhstan, the second largest of the former 15 Soviet Republics, stretching across 3500 kilometers, has been descending into a social and economic abyss. The decline is more tragic because it was the most Westernized of the Soviet Central Asian republics. In Journey into Kazakhstan, the author travels to different regions - the Aral Sea, the Caspian region, the vast central steppelands, the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Polygon, Karaganda, built by Stalin labour camp prisoners, ravaged industrial towns like Shymkent and Kentau, and collapsing state farms. Through on-the-spot reporting the reader will witness how an entire society is descending rapidly back to the pre-industrial era on account of misgovernance and malfeasance and the collapse of education and social welfare.
Alexandra George is a Writer, Translator and Journalist. Her first book was entitled Social Ferment in India (Athlone Press, 1986). Her recent book, Escape form Ward Six: Russia Facing Past and Present is being translated into Polish. The author's newly translated works include Kazakh director Bulat Atabayev's play on the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Polygon, An Angel with a Devil's Appearance.
Chapter 1 Illustrations Chapter 2 Maps Chapter 3 Preface Chapter 4 Acknowledgments Chapter 5 Introduction Chapter 6 The New Political and Business Elite Chapter 7 Myth and Reality Chapter 8 One Step Forward, Two Steps Back Chapter 9 Privatization in the Framework of the Post-Soviet State Chapter 10 Industrial Dislocation, Worker Desolation Chapter 11 The Ethnic Card Chapter 12 The Collapse of Agriculture Chapter 13 Oil or Caviar Chapter 14 The Aral Sea Chapter 15 The Nuclear Polygon of Semipalatinsk Chapter 16 Murat Telibekov's Looking Glass Chapter 17 Conclusion: A Myopic Vision Chapter 18 Bibliography Chapter 19 Index Chapter 20 About the Author