- 85,00 kr
This award-winning foreign correspondent’s vivid account of Central Asia’s recent history “reads like a novel but is the stuff of hard-won journalism” (Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan).
Here are the stories of two revolutions, a massacre of unarmed civilians, a civil war, a drug-smuggling highway, brazen corruption schemes, contract hits, and larger-than-life characters who may be villains, heroes, or possibly both. Restless Valley is a gripping, contemporary chronicle of Central Asia from a veteran journalist with extensive experience in the region.
Both Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have struggled with the challenges of post-Soviet, independent statehood, and both became entangled in America’s Afghan campaign when the United States built military bases within their borders. Meanwhile, the region was becoming a key smuggling hub for Afghanistan’s booming heroin trade.
Through the eyes of local participants—the powerful and the powerless—Shishkin reconstructs how Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have ricocheted between extreme repression and democratic strivings; how alliances with the United States and Russia have brought mixed blessings; and how Stalin’s legacy of ethnic gerrymandering continues to incite conflict today.
“The weird, the strange, the corrupt, and the grand are all evident . . . [Shishkin] relentlessly pursues and then tells the stories of the most corrupt and powerful and also the most sincere and admirable characters who inhabit these mountains.” —Ahmed Rashid, The New York Review of Books
Former Wall Street Journal reporter Shishkin offers an engaging, enlightening look at a lesser-known, yet increasingly vital part of the world. Focusing upon the former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, he examines how the two countries, tied together by history and culture, have experienced decades of chaos, upheaval, and crime since their 1991 independence. Shishkin vividly explores, through first-hand experience, interviews, and public record, the sort of events which could fuel a doz-en action movies. From revolutions and dictators, to massive financial conspiracies and criminal em-pires, independence opened up a world of opportunity for those ruthless or determined enough to take it. Shishkin tackles the thorny relationship between the United States and repressive Uzbekistan, a vi-tal staging area for the war in Afghanistan. He delves into the complicated, bloody conflict between the Uzbek and Kyrgyz peoples; speaks of folk heroes and modern-day villains; and details the rise and fall of crime lords and politicians. Neither history nor policy analysis, "Rather, it is an attempt to re-construct Central Asia's most dramatic recent episodes." While the narrative meanders, it's a fascinat-ing expose from a man who knows the region intimately.