The central argument of this book is that the half-century of Russian rule in Central Asia was shaped by traditions of authoritarian rule, by Russian national interests, and by a civic reform agenda that brought to Turkestan the principles that informed Alexander II's reform policies. This civilizing mission sought to lay the foundations for a rejuvenated, 'modern' empire, unified by imperial citizenship, patriotism, and a shared secular culture. Evidence for Brower's thesis is drawn from major archives in Uzbekistan and Russia. Use of these records permitted him to develop the first interpretation, either in Russian or Western literature, of Russian colonialism in Turkestan that draws on the extensive archival evidence of policy-making, imperial objectives, and relations with subject peoples.
Daniel Brower ia a Professor of History at the University of California - Davis. His research has centred on the social and political history of the Russian Empire.