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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Book announcement: For Prophet and Tsar

Robert D. Crews has just published For Prophet and Tsar: Islam and Empire in Russia and Central Asia (Harvard, 480 pp, ISBN 0-674-02164-9, $29.95/£19.95).

As the Economist review of the book (illustrated with this photo of Alexander Dugin’s fellow Eurasian, Mufti Talgat Tajuddin, and another famous Russian) notes:

Mr Crews's research . . . is of huge relevance to the present day. . . From the state's point of view, there is a dilemma: how far can the compact with Orthodoxy go without precluding a similar one with the Russian Federation's 15m or so Muslim subjects?

The idea of some entente between modern Russian nationalism and Russian Muslims is not as absurd as it seems. Among the ideologues of neo-nationalism in Russia, there have been several figures of Muslim-Tatar background who subscribe to the ideal of a Eurasian or "Slavic-Turkic" union—roughly coinciding with the Soviet Union—whose common enemy is global, or Anglo-Saxon, capitalism.

I’m delighted that the Economist has noticed the importance of Eurasianism. But, to judge from the index at least, none of these important developments feature Dr Crews’s book.

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