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Crimean Tatars (Studies of Nationalities) Paperback – 15 Mar 1978

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Product details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Hoover Institution Press,U.S.; New edition edition (15 Mar. 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817966625
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817966621
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,809,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Professor Fisher's excellent book is brief but clear and succinct. It should be required reading for all students of Russian and European History."--"Slavic Review"

About the Author

Alan W. Fisher is a professor of history and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University. The history of the Ottoman empire and the Turkic peoples, especially the Crimean Tatars, has been the primary focus of his studies and research. Fisher is the author of The Russian Annexation of the Crimea, 1772-1783 (Cambridge University Press, 1970) and has written articles for Slavic Review, Cahiers du monde russe et sovietique, Jahrbucher fur Geschichte Osteuropas, Canadian-American Slavic Studies, Humaniora Islamica, and Harvard Ukranian Studies; he is editor of the Bulletin of Turkish Studies Association.

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First Sentence
Notwithstanding a certain self-assuredness that pervades most accounts of Crimean history, the origins of the Crimean Tatars are as obscure as the origins of most peoples. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Ismet Gelal on 10 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very well documented , full historical coverage of the people living in the peninsula ., more life style and habits details would have been welcome
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Flawed 23 Jan. 2008
By E. A. Kinzel - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book follows a strict chronology: beginning with the origins of the Crimean Tatars, and then proceeding to the establishment of an independent Crimean Khanate, its later incorporation into the Ottoman Empire and then the Russian Empire, and lastly, how the Crimean Tatars had fared under Soviet rule until the late 70's, when this book was written.

I deducted one star for readability; the author has unfortunately taken a topic which is innately exciting and interesting and made it quite dry. Erik Hildiger's single chapter on the Crimean Tatars in Warriors of The Steppes: A Military History of Central Asia made me hungry for more about these people, but this work left me unsatisfied.

I deducted the second star for the book's seeming anti-Russian bias. Both the Russians and the Tatars behaved badly towards each other, of that there is no doubt. The Crimean Tatar economy for centuries was based primarily on capturing Russians and selling them into slavery. I'll let you digest that for a moment. As Ottoman power waned and Russian power grew, Russian control over the Crimea increased as well and resulted in many actions which can only be described as vengeful and petty, culminating in the tragedy of the mass deportation of the Crimean Tatars to Central Asia, mainly Uzbekistan, in 1944.

So far, so good. But then the author consistently passes judgement on all unjust Russian actions, but explains away all of the unjust Tatar actions with some words to this effect: "The Tatar behavior was understandable in light of previous Russian activities, etc."

Particularly silly in this regard was the author's comment, when reporting the Soviet authorities' imposition of the Cyrillic alphabet on the Tatar language, that Cyrillic is inherently unsuitable for writing Turkic languages, but that the Latin based alphabet is. Both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets can and have been altered with the addition of additional or merely modified letters, with great success. In fact, I just checked in Gilyarevsky and Grivnin's Languages Identification Guide and find that the Tatar language, as written with Cyrillic, requires 8 additional letters - which, interestingly, is exactly how many additional letters the language required when it was written in the Arabic alphabet. Turkish, written in the Latin alphabet, uses 10 additional letters. So I think the author's contention is unfounded, and based on what I suspect is an inability to say anything positive about Russia or things Russian.

The remaining 3 stars I left for the fact that, as the previous reviewer noted, there is not much available about the Crimean Tatars in English, and the book is worth owning for its informational value, for anyone interested in Turkic peoples or steppe peoples and history more generally.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
One of the very few 16 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is book is one of the few ones about Crimean Tatars published in English. Not being a russian speaker, I always have problems finding good information resources about Crimean Tatars. This book is one of the few that fills the gap.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The first half is excellent 17 Feb. 2008
By Benjamin Trovato - Published on
Format: Paperback
The first half, before 1783, is excellent, but too short. The post-annexation part is more detailed, somewhat pro-Tatar and drifts a bit into standard East European opression-mongering.
The author sees the Crimea as the main market for Russian slaves sold into Turkey. (Khodarkovsky estimates 150-200 thousand between 1600 and 1650) Crimean and Nogay raiding prevented the southward expansion of Muskovy and kept the steppe clear for nomads. But Russia did expand, making raiding more difficult and thus accelerating Russian expansion until the Crimea was annexed and the steppe nomad society collapsed. This interpretation, if it is correct, needs a more thorough study, both as a major factor in Russian history and as an interesting social form in its own right.
Crimean Tatars 28 Nov. 2013
By MMM - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Fisher's narrative is a comprehensive survey of the Crimean Tatars that, regrettably, ends in the 1960s. An enjoyable read, with particularly compelling sections on the Communist era and World War II.
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