What We Are Reading Today: The Central Asian Economies Since Independence

Updated 04 December 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: The Central Asian Economies Since Independence

  • Richard Pomfret provides a concise and up-to-date analysis of the huge changes undergone by the economies of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991

Author: Richard Pomfret

The 9/11 attacks, the US invasion of Afghanistan, and the oil boom of recent years have greatly increased the strategic importance of resource-rich Central Asia, making an understanding of its economic — and therefore political — prospects more important than ever. 

In The Central Asian Economies Since Independence, Richard Pomfret provides a concise and up-to-date analysis of the huge changes undergone by the economies of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The book assesses the economic prospects of each country, and the likelihood that economic conditions will spur major political changes. With independent chapters on each country, and chapters analyzing their comparative economic performance, the book highlights similarities and differences as well as  divergent paths in the transition from Soviet central planning to more market-based economies.

The book ends in 2005 with the bloodless Kyrgyz revolution and the violence in Uzbekistan, which signaled the end of the region’s political continuity. Throughout the book, Pomfret emphasizes the economic forces that foster political instability — from Kazakhstan’s resource boom and Turkmenistan’s lack of reform to Tajikistan’s abject poverty.


What We Are Reading Today: Art and the Second World War

Updated 10 December 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Art and the Second World War

Author: Monica Bohm-Duchen

Art and the Second World War is the first book in English to provide a comprehensive and detailed international overview of the complex and often disturbing relationship between war and the fine arts during this crucial period of modern history.     
This generously illustrated volume starts by examining the art produced in reaction to the Spanish Civil War (often viewed as “the first battle of World War II“), and then looks at painting, sculpture, prints, and drawing in each of the major combatant nations, including Japan and China. Breathtaking in scope, this scholarly yet accessible publication places wartime art within its broader cultural, political, and military contexts while never losing sight of the power and significance of the individual image and the individual artist.
Monica Bohm-Duchen’s thought-provoking analysis ranges from iconic paintings such as Picasso’s Guernica to unfamiliar works by little-known artists. She reinstates war art by major artists as an integral part of their oeuvres and examines neglected topics such as the art produced in the Japanese-American and British internment camps.