This book, first published in 1990, considers the uneasy relationship between Russia and Soviet Central Asia. Chapters examine both the significance of Asia to the Russian mind and the place that Asia has occupied in Russian geopolitical thinking in the last hundred years, showing that outbreaks of violence are simply a manifestation of a long-standing tension. This is a remarkable and comprehensive study, which will be of great value to those concerned with the history and future of Central Asia and Siberia.
"This remarkably erudite survey of the whole spread of Russia east and south was conceived in the grand old style … Unlike so many studies of Russia and the Soviet Union, this one pays special attention to geography and to the importance of geopolitics in Russian thinking … It is hard to stop commenting on Hauner’s remarkable book, one of the most stimulating I have read" - World Affairs
"…the book is valuable for the historical background it provides, which is not easily accessible in any other past or recent publication. This will be useful to any reader concerned with the future of Central Asia, Siberia and the Soviet Far East if and when the Soviet Union is reformed as a loose commonwealth or breaks up" – Soviet Studies, 1991
List of Figures and Tables; Acknowledgements; Foreword by Paul M. Kennedy; 1. Introduction: What is Asia to Us? Part I: Asia and the Russians 2. Russian Ideology and Asia 3. Historians and Geographers 4. Easterners and Eurasianists; Part II: Russia’s Central Asian Heartland 5. Russia’s Drive South; Part III: The Heartland Debate 6. Mackinder’s Concept of Heartland Russia in 1904 7. Mackinder and the Russian Quest for a New Center of Gravity 8. German Geopolitik, Haushofer, and the Russians 9. The Heartland Revisited: Geopolitics in Soviet Perspective 10. Geopolitics and the Soviet Eurasian Empire Today 11. In Place of Conclusions: What is Asia to Gorbachev’s Russia?
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