iv

PREFACE

The present work employs the detailed study of one case to illustrate a pattern that may well exist in other cases. It must be borne in mind that the subject population comprises approximately one fifth of the Soviet Union (and steadily growing at a rapid pace) and spread across a substantial portion of the Asian continent. What is described in the following pages may have taken place with respect to other non-Russian nationalities in the USSR. Therefore, although this work focuses on Central Asian-Russian relations, it constitutes a possible model for analysis and investigation of Soviet policy toward other nationalities. There is strong evidence to indicate that those policies toward history and literature which were applied to Alpamysh have already been employed with respect to various developing countries as well, not the least of which are those bordering the USSR.

It is the hope of this writer that this inquiry will induce others to pursue the questions raised here. Various disciplines and area studies might benefit from this investigation, aside from the obvious Central Asian and Soviet studies. The artificial separation of "areas" and disciplines, that have not existed during the evolution of the subject matter, cannot yield complete understanding. Given the restrictions imposed by the Soviet censorship and bureaucracies who control collections of materials and published works, documentation is not exhaustive. It is anticipated that subsequent research shall unearth additional information. Therefore, the temptation to hold back and wait for such new discoveries is immense. I almost succumbed to it, except for the constant reminders from friends and colleagues -- among other reasons, pointing to the number of copies of the manuscript I had circulated in the academic community for comments and criticism -- who have insistently hounded me to go to print. I do so with mixed feelings, for, since the completion of this manuscript, a German translation (GDR pinting) of Alpamysh has been issued. I was translated not from the original, but from an earlier Russian translation. Moreover, it has been discovered that at least one, or perhaps two additional printings of Alpamysh have been offered for sale in Central Asia.


Carrie
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