Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Frontispiece

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

Madeleine Reeves, my mualimma and ustod, inspired my interest in social sciences and history when back in 2000 she taught Soviet history and social anthropology in Kyrgyzstan. Her courses at the American University in Kyrgyzstan made me realize how little we, in Central Asia, knew about the region’s past and present. Her curiosity...

Chronology

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pp. xiii-xvi

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Introduction

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pp. 1-18

When a Tajik Communist Party member was asked at a Party Congress in the early 1930s—a decade after the Soviet takeover—what the Communist Party meant to him, he answered: “a pure, tender rose.”1 When asked to explain what he meant, he ran away. Another Tajik communist said he joined the Party because...

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Chapter One. An Open-Air Rule

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pp. 19-52

On February 4, 1924, Soviet military commanders organized in East Bukhara, the territory of the future Tajikistan,1 a gathering of Lakais, a seminomadic people of Turkic origin whom they considered the strongest group in the region.2 The February gathering was an attempt to win over Lakais to the Soviet side and humiliate Ibragim Bek, a Lakai leader who...

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Chapter Two. A Nation to Serve Empire

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pp. 53-70

Physical presence was one of the most pressing concerns for the new Soviet regime.1 The absence of roads and transportation posed a threat to political governance. Any attempt to rule the new territories entailed building a railway, roads, telegraph, and a functioning postal system.2 In 1925 and 1926 the largest portion of the state budget was spent on their construction.3...

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Chapter Three. Empire as a Personal Responsibility

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pp. 71-93

“Today, in a town that was built on an empty land, in a town that has no past, in a town without historic monuments, without mosques and churches . . . we greet you at the Congress of the Soviets.”1 Thus proclaimed Dushanbe’s Party Committee in 1929, just several years after the Soviet rule—and Stalin personally—had promised religious leaders to respect...

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Chapter Four. An Empire of Numbers

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pp. 94-110

In June 1930 procurator Rozenwasser was sent to investigate the collectivization process in the northern regions of Tajikistan. In the Shakhristan region he heard and noted down interesting, even shocking, eyewitness reports. A boy, a man, and a young woman were reported to have been raped by a group of local Soviet government officials including the leading figure...

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Chapter Five. An Empire of Chauvinists and Nationalists

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pp. 111-135

In December 1933, despite mountain passes being almost untraversable, the Fourth Congress of the Executive Committee in Tajikistan brought together delegates from the farthest regions of Tajikistan. They were all invited to take part in a serious matter: to publicly denounce and purge their republican government leaders Nusratullo Maksum of the Central Executive Committee...

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Chapter Six. An Empire of Inner Struggles

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pp. 136-159

While political police agents1 were interrogating (without judicial protection and most likely using torture) the network of the supposed counter-revolutionary nationalists led by Maksum and Khodzhibaev in Tajikistan (see Chapter Five), top communist leaders in Moscow—Ordzhonikidze, Kaganovich, Akulov, Vyshinskii, Kalinin, and Molotov (but not Stalin)...

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Chapter Seven. An Empire of Liars

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pp. 160-178

The Soviet Union was, Moscow leaders imagined, a place of liars. Everywhere, it seemed to them, people lied about everything. While peasants lied about the amount of produce they had, most dangerous were the numerous Soviet officials who provided wrong information about Soviet plans to the population, lied about the situation in the fields and their own activities...

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Chapter Eight. A Speechless Empire

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pp. 179-198

Nothing signaled a storm in Stalinabad in 1936.1 Bazaar trade was partially restored, people were recovering from the hunger of the First and Second Five-Year Plans, economic reports were charged with optimism, and officials were happy that they had managed to exceed expectations on the Moscow plans. The Second Five-Year Plan was slated to differ from the first...

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Conclusion

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pp. 199-204

In her book on clan politics in Central Asia, Kathleen Collins claims that the relationship between the Soviet central state and Central Asian republics and societies were colonial, since they relied upon and reinstated “traditional local power structures and social cleavages.”1 Collins’s view is shaped by her contemporary observations of post-Soviet developments...

Notes

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pp. 205-248

Glossary

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pp. 249-252

Bibliography

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pp. 253-266

Index

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pp. 267-272

Back Cover

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