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Diane Publishing Books
Chasing the Sea: Lost Among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia: Being a Narrative of a Journey Through Uzbekistan
Tom Bissell (au)
In 1960, the Aral Sea was the size of Lake Michigan: a huge body of water in the deserts of Central Asia. By 1996, when Bissell arrived in Uzbekistan, disastrous Soviet irrigation policies had shrunk the sea to a third its size. In 2001, he returned to Central Asia to investigate the Aral Sea’s destruction. He made his way through the ancient cities of Tashkent, Samarkand & Bukhara. Here he provides a history of the Uzbeks, recounting their region’s long, violent subjugation by despots such as Jenghiz Khan & Joseph Stalin. He captures their contemporary struggles to cope with Islamist terrorism, the legacy of totalitarianism, & the profound environmental & human damage wrought by the sea’s disappearance.
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