The Crimean Tatars:  The Diaspora Experience and the Forging of a Nation

by Brian Glyn Williams

Book Review in "Choice"; by D. MacKenzie, emeritus, Univ. of North Carolina. Greensboro.

Social 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


Volume 2, Brill's Inner Asian Library
2001,  Brill, Leiden, Boston, Koln
ISBN:  90 04 12122 6
ISSN:  1566-7162

Pictures from Book


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