Richard Whittall:

The Globalist's Top Ten Books in 2016: The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer

Middle East Eye: "

The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer is one of the weightiest, most revelatory, original and important books written about sport"

“The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer has helped me immensely with great information and perspective.”

Bob Bradley, former US and Egyptian national coach: "James Dorsey’s The Turbulent World of Middle Eastern Soccer (has) become a reference point for those seeking the latest information as well as looking at the broader picture."
Alon Raab in The International Journal of the History of Sport: “Dorsey’s blog is a goldmine of information.”
Play the Game: "Your expertise is clearly superior when it comes to Middle Eastern soccer."
Andrew Das, The New York Times soccer blog Goal: "No one is better at this kind of work than James Dorsey"
David Zirin, Sports Illustrated: "Essential Reading"
Change FIFA: "A fantastic new blog'

Richard Whitall of A More Splendid Life:
"James combines his intimate knowledge of the region with a great passion for soccer"

Christopher Ahl, Play the Game: "An excellent Middle East Football blog"
James Corbett, Inside World Football

Thursday, October 24, 2019

NBN Book Review: Dark Shadows - Inside the Secret World of Kazakhstan

Joanna Lillis

Dark Shadows

Inside the Secret World of Kazakhstan

I. B. Tauris 2018

October 23, 2019 James M. Dorsey

Joanna LillisDark Shadows, Inside the Secret World of Kazakhstan (I. B. Tauris, 2018) takes the reader on a penetrating, colourfully written journey into the recesses of a little known Central Asian nations on the frontier of tectonic shifts across Eurasia. Kazakhstan, a sparsely populated oil-rich former Soviet republic that shares borders with Russia and China that stretch thousands of kilometres, in which demographics amount to geopolitics, walks a tight rope in a world increasingly dominated by leaders who to varying degrees define their states in civilizational rather than national terms. Russia’s annexation of Crimea and stirring of unrest in two regions of Ukraine coupled with veiled threats uttered by Russian President Vladimir Putin raise the spectre of Kazakhstan’s worst nightmares. China’s brutal crackdown on Turkic Muslims, including ethnic Kazakhs, in its troubled north-western province of Xinjiang fuels long-standing public suspicion of Chinese ambitions and put the government between a rock and a hard place. Led for almost three decades until he recently stepped down, former Communist party boss Nursultan Nazarbayev has moulded Kazakhstan in his image: an authoritarian state with some trappings of democracy that increasingly are being curtailed. Lillis paints a compelling picture of a nation that is still grappling with the consequences of Joseph Stalin’s devastating disruption of its demography and identity as it seeks forge its path in a post-Nazarbayev era against the backdrop of big power jockeying for influence in the heart of Eurasia. With the keen eye of a journalistic fly on the wall and the ability to turn words into images, Lillis portrays a strategically important country at the crossroads of geopolitics that are likely to shape an emerging new world order.

James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies and the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute.

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