15 April 2006

Kyrgyzstan Books

A friend of ours in the US gave us a copy of an English translation of one of Akaev's books that he wrote in 2002 about the history of Kyrgyzstan and Manas. While it isn't a scholarly history, it has been nice to read something that focuses solely on Kyrgyzstan. Most books cover all of Central Asia or China and since Kyrgyzstan hasn't ever been a major player in either of those areas, it's hard to figure out exactly who was where when.

Did the Qing control eastern Kyrgyzstan or did the Khanate of Khokand? When did the Kyrgyz convert to Islam? What about pre-Soviet Islam in Kyrgyzstan? How was the border with China decided on (I mean the whole thing, not just little disputed pieces)? Since the Qing said they controlled eastern Kyrgyzstan, why didn't that part end up in China? Were the Kyrgyz mentioned by the Chinese in 200 BC the ancestors of today Kyrgyz, or even the Kyrgyz who lived near the Yenisey River? Who, if anyone, was already in the western Tian Shan when the Kyrgyz migrated there? And when did they come anyway? I know there has been a lot written on this in Russian, but there is little in English. And probably no one knows the answers to some of my questions.

Here are some other books I'd like to read. Maybe the first one would answer some of my questions:

Historical Dictionary of Kyrgyzstan

Language Attitudes Towards Kyrgyz And Russian: Discourse, Education And Policy in Post-Soviet-Kyrgyzstan

The Educational System of Kyrgyzstan

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