St. Petersburg: Nash svet, 1914. 86 pp.: ill. 24x17 cm. Original illustrated wrappers showing the eagle over the mountains: the metaphor of Russian Empire spreading its influence across the region. Minimal restoration of the spine, otherwise very good and clean.
First edition. The work by the young historian and geographer Vladimir Platonovich Voshchinin (1882-1965), who would later in life become the founder of the Geographical Research Institute in Murmansk.
The book was an attempt to summarize the experience of ‘the only real Russian colony’ (author). Voshchinin took a trip down in 1913 and observed the ethnographical, economical and political situation in the region. In 1910 he visited the Far East where he did the research on the frontiersmen (described in the book ‘Na Sibirskom prostore’ [i.e. On the Siberian Vastness, 1912]).
As a result the book is a courageous analysis of the situation in Turkestan, author is not afraid to criticize the official government policy of not letting new settlers into Turkestan due to the lack of vacant land. He draws the plan of reform in the region, generally staking on Russian immigrants, sometimes disregarding the local population.
Voshchinin traveled by car and on the horseback from Tashkent to Kyrgyzstan and as far as Dzhelalabad (now in Afghanistan), and back to Fergana valley, including Andijon. His narrative is vibrant and entertaining.
He finishes with the hopes of Russian dominance in the region:
’Slowly but surely as life-giving rays of Russian sun reach deeper into the aboriginal land, the light of European culture glows brighter in the old Asia, and the contrasts of it soften and the darkest shadows disappear’.
Worldcat locates copy at Princeton University Library.