Calming The Ferghana Valley: Development and Dialogue in the Heart of Central Asia
by Barnett R. Rubin, Keith Martin, Nancy Lubin, etc.
Release Date: 01 June, 2000
After reading Tajikistan: The Trials of Independence (see review), my perspective of this region was broadened immensely with Calming the Ferghana Valley. An in-depth study of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan (with particular focus on Northern Tajikistan) and Kyrgystan, the book acts as more of a petition, or call to action, to secure stability in these regions before the continued fragility, confusion, and disintegration of the political and social structure influences an irreversible course toward explosive upheaval.
The recent events in Afghanistan have demonstrated how far-reaching the effects of socio-political unrest can be. They have also demonstrated how strategically valuable these countries can be, being located in the middle of the tumultuous Asian continent. This book is a first attempt at staving off the violent actions and reactions that may or may not occur as a result of the unrest. But with the bombings in Osh, Kyrgystan; the kidnappings and "disappearances" in Tajikistan, and the secret unrest in Uzbekistan, it does not take much influence to convince one that the unrest may be more violent than diplomatic.
I'm just a guy from Minnesota, USA. I have never been to any of these places and probably never will go. Reading this book, however, gives me an apprecation for the struggles that these people encounter every day--both on an individual level and on the governmental level.
The land is a beautiful land, ranging from deserts to spectacular mountains. The people there have a desire to succeed and, with a little of our help, as proposed in this book, perhaps they will.
Read it--Learn a little about this world that you live upon!