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on 23 October 2017
Excellent introduction to the internal workings of a cruel dictatorship and extreme human rights violations, but also the callousness with which we, following our "national self-interest, are prepared to ignore human rights abuses elsewhere.
For students of International Relations, this is a wonderful introduction to the workings of an embassy, and to foreign policy making in a democracy.
I wish we had heard a little less about the lovelife and health problems of the author, important though they undoubtedly are to him.
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on 29 September 2017
An un-put-downable personal story of events in Uzbekistan during the run-up to the second Gulf war.
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on 19 November 2017
Entertaining, funny in places but at the same time so sad. Makes me question many other things we are told by the very people we elect.
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on 14 November 2017
a real eye opener
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on 20 January 2008
I suppose the author is not your usual diplomat, but that makes the book only better. The impressions that I got from my only few visits to the country, including the conference that author describes, tie very well with the picture painted by the author. Massacre in Andijan that took place after Murray's departure only validated his views. If I'm not mistaken, eventual US and UK criticism of Andijan events lead to US air base in the country being closed by Karimov. Sadly, in spite of Murray's signals, mass killing of people had to take place before US and UK realised that Karimov used their war on terror to brutally supress Uzbekistan.
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on 4 October 2008
Murder in Samarkand. I read an article in the Big Issue and vowed to read this book. It is FANTASTIC. A man against the system...his desire to do the right thing and fight evil almost cost him to pay the ultimate price! As with the "sucide" of Dr Kelly, I am sure the Governent will never reveal the TRUTH!!! The WMD (Words of Mass Deception) used by "our leaders" to get what they want neither suprises nor shocks me.
The only thing that truely shocks me is the this book was everallowed to be published at all!! Mr Murray you are a star, Keep well and safe xxx

Yoda, Cheshire
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on 25 March 2009
A surprising page-turner from a man of rare integrity. I expected it to be another dark lumbering account of the world's underbelly -- worthy and necessary, yes, entertaining and often exciting, definitely not.

Of course there's no escaping the depressing subject matter. Sigh. It's a shame that the forces in favour of extreme centralisation run this world.

Murray's womanising will be off-putting to many readers, particularly not-so-happily-married wives!

Highly recommended. It's satisfying to know that purchasing Murray's books is a positive vote for a more open and enlightened world.
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on 11 July 2006
Few of us have done battle with a murderous dictator. "Murder in Samarkand" tells how a British Ambassador did so and survived, only to be stabbed in the back by his own government. The FCO's attempt to dismiss Craig Murray for invented disciplinary offences is an individual tale of injustice. However, the core of this gripping tale is of a studious, individualistic and patriotic Ambassador driven to take absurd risks in remote parts of Uzbekistan as he builds up a dossier of the brutal crimes of his host government. Those who try to obstruct him find the mild scholar is no pushover. He disputes the lies of petty bureaucrats. He storms into a corrupt procurator's office and dismisses him as a criminal - a risky way of exercising an Ambassador's "full and plenipotentiary" powers. But it works. The bully is exposed as a coward in front of those he has bullied. There is even a snow-shrouded car chase with Karimov thugs in pursuit - no wonder the film rights are under
discussion.
The shocking part of this story - narrated with skill and candour - is that, at heart, much of the FCO agreed with the advice Craig Murray was providing from Tashkent. Dealing with human rights abuses is never easy. Murray knew his way around Whitehall well enough to make sure that a controversial speech critical of Uzbekistan had support from the human rights desks in the FCO and in the Department for International Development. But when the Americans complained to No 10 and this was passed on to the FCO, spines crumpled - from Jack Straw down. This book makes one both proud and ashamed of British diplomacy. There is a simple lesson for Blair to learn. If you ask diplomats who are trained to report truthfully, to tell lies, the lasting problems will come from those who obey you, not the ones who stick to their professional calling. "
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on 1 June 2007
A page-turner, informative and shocking. I already knew that our government was corrupt in many ways, and that Bush's "war on terror" just produced more terror, but was still shocked by this account, providing insight into Uzbekistan under a brutal dictatorship, the workings of a British embassy, and the lengths to which our own Foreign Office would go to stop an ambassador raising human rights issues which might embarrass hypocritical policy-makers in Washington and London. Very readable, even entertaining, and yet dealing with serious issues. Max Hastings wrote that the book "helps explain the moral bankruptcy of the Blair government" - it does that, and much more besides. Highly recommended.
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on 13 March 2011
I read this book when it first came out, loved it and have recommended it to lots of people. Am now re-reading it. The only problem I have with it is that I did go through it not particularly liking Craig Murray because of his womanising. I guess he put this in as this is what he was accused of when he was sacked, and had to explain himself. But in a way this also made it more real and believeable if he was being this honest.
It was great to get in depth knowledge of what was going on in Uzbekistan at this time. As well as doing his ambassador work and smoozing with government types, he was also talking to 'normal' people there.

What he witnesses there makes you extremely angry and frustrated at the Uzbekistan and the British governments. Opens your eyes as to how corrupt out own government is.

What he says he does in the book is amazing and is what every ambassador should be doing. I can't help but think it's a little biased, but I hope that its all true. The fact he got sacked for the work he did there says something.

I went to see Craig Murray talk a couple of times after reading this book too. He is very passionate about Uzbekistan and the work he did there.
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