The Central Asian Revolt of 1916

A collapsing empire in the age of war and revolution

Edited by Alexander Morrison, Cloé Drieu and Aminat Chokobaeva

The Central Asian Revolt of 1916


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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2942-0
  • Pages: 384
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £90.00
  • Published Date: September 2019
  • BIC Category: Modern History, History, European history: medieval period, middle ages, HISTORY / Asia / Central Asia, HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century, Central Asia, Humanities / 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, Humanities / Revolutions, uprisings, rebellions, Humanities / European history


The 1916 Revolt was a key event in the history of Central Asia, and of the Russian Empire in the First World War. This volume is the first comprehensive re-assessment of its causes, course and consequences in English for over sixty years. It draws together a new generation of leading historians from North America, Japan, Europe, Russia and Central Asia, working with Russian archival sources, oral narratives, poetry and song in Kazakh and Kyrgyz. These illuminate in unprecedented detail the origins and causes of the revolt, and the immense human suffering which it entailed. They also situate the revolt in a global perspective as part of a chain of rebellions and disturbances that shook the world's empires, as they crumbled under the pressures of total war.


'The 1916 rebellion in Central Asia is tremendously important for historians of both the Great War and the 'Russian' Revolution. This collection of uncommonly rich and deep essays takes the analysis of 1916 to a much higher level by showing the dynamics of power and violence at the microlevel as well as at the level of the empire as a whole. The authors use a wide variety of sources sensitively and effectively. This volume is essential reading for anyone interested in the period.'
Joshua Sanborn, David M. '70 and Linda Roth Professor of History, Lafayette College

'Finally a book that examines in depth the revolts that, in 1916, upset the fragile Imperial order in Russian Central Asia and triggered the bloody reaction of the army and the Russian settlers against the local populations. By reconstructing the micro-dynamics of the uprising, its relationship with the ongoing Great War and the role of the various actors involved in the events this wonderfully researched volume represents an indispensable tool to understand the nature of the long Russian domination over the region.'
Marco Buttino, Emeritus Professor, University of Turin

'This impressive volume provides a state-of-the-art overview of the events of 1916 in Central Asia. The treatment here is both deep and multifaceted, combining broad analytic horizons with thorough and careful treatment of individual events. Bringing together scholars from North America, Europe, and Central Asia, and based on research in a wide range of languages and multiple archives and sources, it presents both indigenous voices as well as those of Russian settlers, soldiers and officials. The chapters in this volume will allow the 1916 Central Asian Revolt to take its rightful place in the historiography of the First World War, the Russian Empire, and of anti-colonial rebellions. As one author notes, this event sees the catalytic intersection of the world war with Russia's colonial crisis. This excellent volume should be of great interest to historians of the Russian empire and Soviet Union, but equally to scholars interested in colonialism and anti-colonial resistance and the First World War.'
Peter Holquist, Associate Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania, and author of Making War, Forging Revolution. Russia's Continuum of Crisis 1914 -1921

'[...] It brings together cutting-edge research by scholars from Central Asia, Europe, Japan, and North America to present a detailed and analytically sophisticated view of the uprising. [...] This volume is the definitive account of the 1916 revolt in any language.'
The Russian Review


Note on translation, transliteration and dates
Glossary and abbreviations
Editors' introduction
Aminat Chokobaeva, Cloé Drieu and Alexander Morrison
1 Why in Central Asia, why in 1916? The revolt as an interface of the Russian colonial crisis and the World War
Tomohiko Uyama
2 The exemption of peoples of Turkestan from universal military service as an antecedent to the 1916 revolt.
Tatiana Kotiukova
3 The ­­­­1916 uprisings in Jizzakh: economic background and political rationales
Akmal Bazarbaev and Cloé Drieu
4 The "virtual reality" of colonial Turkestan: how Russian officials viewed and represented the participation of the Local population in the 1916 revolt
Oybek Mahmudov
5 Fears, rumours, violence: the Tsarist regime and the revolt of the nomads in Central Asia, 1916
Jörn Happel
6 When the nomads went to war: the uprising of 1916 in Semirech'e
Aminat Chokobaeva
7 Scales of violence: the 1916 Central Asian uprising in the context of wars and revolutions (1914-1923)
Niccolò Pianciola
8 Violent acculturation: Alexei Kuropatkin, the Central Asian Revolt, and the long Shadow of conquest
Ian W. Campbell
9 Refugees, resettlement and revolutionary violence in Semirech'e after the 1916 revolt
Alexander Morrison
10 Links across time: Taranchis during the uprising of 1916 in Semirech'e and the "Atu" massacre of 1918
Ablet Kamalov
11 Making political rebellion "primitive": the 1916 rebellion in the Kazakh steppe in long-term perspective (ca.1840-1930)
Xavier Hallez and Isabelle Ohayon
12 From Rebels to refugees: memorialising the revolt of 1916 in oral poetry
Jipar Duishembieva
13 A Qirghiz verse narrative of rebellion and exile by Musa Chaghatay uulu
Daniel Prior
14 Domesticating 1916: the evolution of Amangeldi Imanov and the creation of a foundation myth for the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (1916-1939)
Danielle Ross
Select bibliography


Aminat Chokobaeva is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Nazarbayev University

Cloé Drieu is a Research Fellow at CNRS in the Centre d'études turques, ottomanes, balkaniques et centrasiatiques (CETOBaC)

Alexander Morrison is a Fellow and Tutor in History at New College, Oxford

The Central Asian Revolt of 1916

Edited by Alexander Morrison, Cloé Drieu, Aminat Chokobaeva

Hardcover £90.00 / $140.00

Paperback £30.00 / $44.95

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