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A New York Times feature on the entrenched poverty of increasing numbers of American workers highlighted the research of Evelyn Nakano Glenn in Forced to Care , noting the many Americans who work in the service sector for dismally low wages but whose additional, off-the-books service to ailing or aging loved ones goes unrecognized and unsupported. Julian Jackson on Charles de Gaulle Julian Jackson has written the definitive biography of the mythic general who refused to accept the Nazi domination of France.

De Gaulle draws on unpublished letters, memoirs, and papers in the newly opened de Gaulle archives that show how this volatile and inspiring leader put his broken nation back at the center of world affairs.

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We asked Professor Jackson about de Gaulle and his process in writing the book. Why has he been ignored for so long? Why is now a good time to take a new look at this titanic figure? The last major biography of de Gaulle was published in French in but since then the de Gaulle archives have bee …. Schwanitz bio Robert D. Crews, For Prophet and Tsar: Harvard University Press, , pp. Although the Russian and Islamic empires were heirs to a common Byzantine heritage, they experienced about a half millennium of bellicose relations while [End Page ] the Russians expanded steadily into Central Asian lands.

Those infidels managed even to create a Eurasian brand of Islam and a Homo sovieticus islamicus. Bolshevists aspired to world revolution and called Muslims to jihad against the rulers of rival empires, but Hitler turned Muslim prisoners of war around to jihad against their Soviet masters.

With the Cold War in full swing, Western clandestine services recruited among them. The aim of Western intelligence was to explore Islamic potential for opposition to the Soviet colonization of their lands. But the leader of Soviet pilgrims, Imam Mirza G. Hence she created the Muftiate for the Muslims of the Volga. Interestingly, This cooptation of Muslim authority was modeled on the relationship between the tsarist government and the Russian Orthodox Church.

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However, as Islam does not really possess a centralized hierarchy or leader, like an Orthodox Patriarch or Catholic Pope, this required the construction of an Islamic "church," with a hierarchy of "clergy," a notion that is also problematic in Islam. With some hiccups, this Muftiate worked well in the Volga-Urals region. But, by the time that the Russians began conquering the Kazakh steppe in earnest, as well as Turkestan, there were plenty of official Russian voices that declared that the state should not be subsidizing Islam.

As nationalism became a prominent plank in tsarist authority around the midth century Russian language, culture and religion as the heart of the empire it became harder for the tsarist government to promote Islam. In the Kazakh steppe, the Russian's played down Islam and enjoyed the Kazakhs to use their own customary law adat.


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In Turkestan, the area's first governor-general, Von Kaufmann, tried to ignore Islam, i. Of course, the whole idea of state controlled Islam was strengthened during Soviet times and survives today in Central Asia. The main point of Crews' book is not that the Russians acted in such a manner, but that the Muslims of their empire constantly involved the state in religious matters.

"For Prophet and Tsar: Islam and Empire in Russia and Central Asia" by Robert Crews

That is, both "clergy" and laymen south to leverage the regional Russian authorities to achieve their own ends. The Clergy called on tsarist police to quash "unofficial" Islamic gatherings Sufi gatherings , claiming that they were a detriment to the integrity of the Russian state, though they were actually more concerned with such movements diminishing their own power. Nov 04, Michael rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Russian historians, History students, historians of Islam.

I've marked this as "read, grad student," which means it was one of dozens of books I consumed in very little time while in graduate school. Generally, I tried to read the introduction and conclusion, the beginning and end of each chapter, and then used the index to find sections of especial interest.

Judging by the highlighting in this volume, and my lack of memory of it five years later, I only managed step one intro and conclusion with this book. Essentially, the argument is that, in spite of the predominance of Orthodox Christianity in the Russian Empire, the imperial family learned to cooperate with Muslim subjects and administrated them by means of collaboration with prominent Muslim clerics.

As a result, Islam thrived side-by-side with Orthodoxy, and did not become a site of resistance to the regime. It is restricted to primarily the nineteenth century, although some discussion of the preceding and following centuries is included as well.

For Prophet and Tsar: Islam and Empire in Russia and Central Asia by Robert D. Crews

Overall, however, this book is full of fascinating insights and anecdotes, and is probably a worthwhile study for those concerned with the best ways an empire can co-exist with a religion like Islam. Mar 04, Les rated it really liked it. Crews offers a fascinating look at the interpenetration of the Tsarist state and Islam from Catherine the Great's edict on toleration to the end of the Tsarist empire in this deeply researched study.

Drawing from a wealth of source material, Crews explores how the state viewed Islam as an instrument for reinforcing social discipline and imperial loyalty.


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Generations of Russian officials imposed and then supported a hierarchy of officially appointed muftis who then vetted and appointed religious Crews offers a fascinating look at the interpenetration of the Tsarist state and Islam from Catherine the Great's edict on toleration to the end of the Tsarist empire in this deeply researched study.

Generations of Russian officials imposed and then supported a hierarchy of officially appointed muftis who then vetted and appointed religious authorities down to the village level. At the same time, local Islamic elites and members of the Islamic communities both turned to state authorities to enforce their views of orthodox behavior as well as to sort out a multitude of community disputes. In the epilogue, Crews outlines how the complex interrelationship between the state and believers continues to the present time in post-Soviet states.

Kerri rated it really liked it Aug 19,


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