Restless Valley by Philip Shishkin
Revolution, Murder, and Intrigue in the Heart of Central Asia

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Mr. Shishkin's own emigrant relatives pop up in the epilogue...Mr. Shishkin's nuanced and well-rounded portrait brings this woman to life, perhaps more so than some of the bigger characters of the drama.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

It sounds like the stuff of a fiction thriller: two revolutions, a massacre of unarmed civilians, a civil war, a drug-smuggling highway, brazen corruption schemes, contract hits, and larger-than-life characters who may be villains . . . or heroes . . . or possibly both. Yet this book is not a work of fiction. It is instead a gripping, firsthand account of Central Asia’s unfolding history from 2005 to the present.
Philip Shishkin, a prize-winning journalist with extensive on-the-ground experience in the tumultuous region above Afghanistan’s northern border, focuses mainly on Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Both nations have struggled with the enormous challenges of post-Soviet independent statehood; both became entangled in America’s Afghan campaign when U.S. military bases were established within their borders. At the same time, the region was developing into a key smuggling hub for Afghanistan’s booming heroin trade. Through the eyes of local participants—the powerful and the powerless—Shishkin reconstructs how Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have ricocheted between extreme repression and democratic strivings, how alliances with the United States and Russia have brought mixed blessings, and how Stalin’s legacy of ethnic gerrymandering incites conflict even now.
 

About Philip Shishkin

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Philip Shishkin spent a decade as an award-winning staff reporter of The Wall Street Journal. He ran the newspaper's Baghdad bureau during the height of Iraq's sectarian war, and has reported extensively from Turkey, Afganistan, the Balkans, Central Asia, and the U.S., among other parts of the world. His writing has appeared in Newsweek, Foreign Policy and Reuters. A fellow at the Asia Society, he is now a freelance writer based in Beijing.
 
Published May 21, 2013 by Yale University Press. 329 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Restless Valley
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Publishers Weekly

Good
on May 20 2013

...speaks of folk heroes and modern-day villains; and details the rise and fall of crime lords and politicians...it's a fascinat-ing expose from a man who knows the region intimately.

Read Full Review of Restless Valley: Revolution, ... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by MONICA WHITLOCK on Jul 08 2013

Mr. Shishkin's own emigrant relatives pop up in the epilogue...Mr. Shishkin's nuanced and well-rounded portrait brings this woman to life, perhaps more so than some of the bigger characters of the drama.

Read Full Review of Restless Valley: Revolution, ... | See more reviews from WSJ online

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