Review in "Choice";
by D. MacKenzie, emeritus, Univ. of North Carolina.
and Behavioral Sci-History, Geography-Central
and Eastern Europe
Williams, Brian Glyn. The Crimean Tatars: the
diaspora experience and the forging of a nation.
Brill, 2001. 488p bibl index afp ISBN 9-00-412122-6,
$123.00 . Reviewed in 2002mar CHOICE.
This outstanding, thoroughly researched, and clearly
presented volume focuses on the Crimean Tatars'
traumatic history of migration and exile under
tsars and Soviet rule. Williams (Univ. of London)
traces the historical process of the transformation
of a traditional Muslim community of peasants
into a politically mobilized secular nation with
a well-defined national identity strongly attached
to its Crimean homeland. The author also describes
the gradual construction of Crimea as "Fatherland"
by the Crimean Tatars. Williams compares the Crimean
Tatars' mass and brutal deportation by Stalin
in 1944 with similar traumas suffered by Armenians
and Jews. The author derived much material from
visits to Crimean Tatar communities in Central
Asia and Crimea and interviews with Crimean Tatars
from Turkey and the US, 1997-99. Basically, "this
work is the ethno-history of a small community
..., scattered over time and space." Williams
covers the Crimean Tatars' history chronologically
from their ethnogenesis in the pre-Mongol era
right up to the present after being freed from
Soviet rule. Enhancing the volume are numerous
illustrations of people and places; a series of
maps; a complete glossary; and a bibliography
of works in Russian, Turkish, and various Western
languages. Upper-division undergraduates and above.
--D. MacKenzie, emeritus, University of North
Carolina at Greensboro