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Old December 21st, 2017, 05:24 PM   #1

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Book on Central Asian or Eurasian History


Hello,

I noticed that there is not a specific thread allocated for Central Asian or Eurasian history. I am looking for some good books to gain a better understanding of the region. I've done a search and have not been able to enter the right keywords to find what I'm looking for. Any recommendations you can make is much appreciated.
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Old December 21st, 2017, 06:25 PM   #2

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Time period or full timeline histories?
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Old December 21st, 2017, 06:41 PM   #3

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I am looking for full timeline histories to begin with. Thank you.
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Old December 21st, 2017, 10:25 PM   #4

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.
All who have attempted this have gone mad or native
beside the relative paucity of document among people of this area ,
the sheer ferociousness of the Nations contending with each other is simply maddening

there are four main sources ,internal , Chinese , Muslims and Christians
the later being mostly Italian merchants located around the Black Sea
a smattering of other travelers and merchant left some reports

essentially there is this constant tension between the pastoralists and the settled communities
but only the rule of an Hegemon was able to focus their energies

from the 19th Century the area was under Russian , British and Chinese observation ,
it can provide some more info , even though the politics got absolutely insane

As usual , start with Wikipedia and start digging for a long time
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 01:38 AM   #5

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UNESCO has a multi-volume encyclopedia of central Asian history that you can download free. Pretty much covers everything.

History of Civilizations of Central Asia | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization


We also sometimes cover central Asian topics in the Asian history forum.

Last edited by stevapalooza; December 22nd, 2017 at 01:45 AM.
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 03:05 AM   #6

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Eurasia is of course as massive a subject as it is a geographic area. For an excellent detailed overview in one volume there is "By Steppe, Desert, and Ocean - The birth of Eurasia" by Barry Cunliffe. Oxord University Press, 2015.
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 06:51 AM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevapalooza View Post
UNESCO has a multi-volume encyclopedia of central Asian history that you can download free. Pretty much covers everything.

History of Civilizations of Central Asia | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization


We also sometimes cover central Asian topics in the Asian history forum.
Thank you for this link. It has been extremely helpful. I will start here and then branch out to other books that have been recommended, like the one Corvidius mentioned.
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 07:33 AM   #8

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I found Soviet Central Asia: The Failed Transformation pretty good.

Not a complete timeline, but a good overview of the region during the Soviet era.

Given I only picked this particular book because I could find it in a library, but of the bunch that I picked up on the topic I found this one the most interesting.
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 07:37 AM   #9

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Central Asia and the World: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajjikistan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan was a little less interesting, but another one I read with a bit of a different view.

In a nutshell it seemed only to say that Central Asia has minimal geopolitical significance these days.
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Old December 22nd, 2017, 09:42 PM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idris View Post
Thank you for this link. It has been extremely helpful. I will start here and then branch out to other books that have been recommended, like the one Corvidius mentioned.

If you want to narrow it down to just one book there's also Rene Grousset's The Empire of the Steppes, which also gives a general history of central Asia, especially the steppe nomads but not exclusively. It an older book (1939) so some aspects might be outdated, but its a good starting point.

A more recent book (2009) along the same lines is Empires of the Silk Road by Christopher Beckwith.

Oh I almost forgot--if you just want a literal timeline, there's always the Histomap, a timeline of world history from 2000 BCE to the early 20th century. The timeline marked "Huns" cover much of Central Asia.

Last edited by stevapalooza; December 22nd, 2017 at 09:53 PM.
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