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Alpamysh: Central Asian Identity under Russian Rule

by Hasan Bülent Paksoy

In 1776 Edward Gibbon reflected that the eastward expansion of Russia had finally subdued 'the fiercest of the Tartar hordes.' In this monograph, H.B. Paksoy provides a rare glimpse into the subsequent struggle for cultural and national identity that unfolded in Central Asia.

Paksoy's focus is the dastan, or oral epic. He explains the nature of the dastan, the attempts of orientalist Russian and then Soviet scholarship to subvert it, and the efforts made by a number of Central Asians to preserve and save their dastans.

At the center of Paksoy's study is Alpamysh, probably the greatest of the dastans, which is here translated for the first time into English.

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