Soviet Central Asia: "A Tragic Experiment."

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Soviet Central Asia: "A Tragic Experiment."

By Boris Z. Rumer
Unwin Hyman, 1989
204 pp. $39.95

The Muslim republics of Soviet Central Asia have long had specific regional economic problems-shortage of water, ill-planned industrial complexes, overspecialization in cotton, underemployment-which Gorbachev inherited from his immediate predecessors. Rumer describes them briefly with the pertinent statistics and backup. Perestroika, unfortunately, does not hold much promise for the region, and with glasnost the local political and professional leaders are able, at least indirectly, to say so. Gloomy economic prospects are likely, sooner or later, to generate political instability and protest.

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