Jinping Wang, “In the Wake of the Mongols: The Making of a New Social Order in North China 1200-1600” (Harvard Asia Center, 2018)
On the background of widespread portrayals of China as a monolithic geographical and political entity moving through time, insights into the endlessly contingent, local and contested events which have occurred in this part of East Asia over time are always valuable. This arguably applies all the more the further back... Read More
Victoria Smolkin, “A Sacred Space Is Never Empty: A History of Soviet Atheism” (Princeton UP, 2018)
The specter of the “Godless” Soviet Union haunted the United States and continental Western Europe throughout the Cold War, but what did atheism mean in the Soviet Union? What was its relationship with religion? In her new book, A Sacred Space Is Never Empty: A History of Soviet Atheism, Dr.... Read More
Alun Thomas, “Nomads and Soviet Rule: Central Asia under Lenin and Stalin” (I.B. Tauris, 2018)
In his new book, Nomads and Soviet Rule: Central Asia under Lenin and Stalin (I.B. Tauris, 2018), Alun Thomas examines the understudied experiences of Kazakh and Kyrgyz nomads in the NEP period. Thomas begins his book by examining enduring problems nomads faced such as increased European settlement that lead to sharp conflicts... Read More
Martin Saxer and Juan Zhang, eds., “The Art of Neighbouring: Making Relations Across China’s Borders” (Amsterdam UP, 2017)
China’s growing presence in all of our worlds today is felt most keenly by those living directly on the country’s borders. They, together with the Chinese people who also inhabit the borderlands, are parties to a dazzling array of of China-driven transformations unfolding on a vast scale in economics, politics,... Read More
Tom Cliff, “Oil and Water: Being Han in Xinjiang” (U Chicago Press, 2016)
Compared to the provinces’s native Uyghur population, Han Chinese settlers in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have not attracted as much scholarly or indeed journalistic attention of late. But in a profoundly troubled and troubling present for Xinjiang, one that is thankfully now gaining somewhat more notice from concerned parties... Read More
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