Nazarbayev and the making of Kazakhstan
For centuries the tribes of Kazakhstan had been plundered and conquered by foreign invaders. The most ruthless of these were the 20th century leaders of the Soviet Union, but after its collapse it was Nazarbayev who emerged as the new President of the nation state. Jonathan Aitken's masterly book is a riveting account of how Kazakhstan has capitalised on its natural resources (including oil) to become one of the great economic success stories of the modern era.
Nazarbayev himself is widely admired as a political leader and strategist, having overcome extraordinary crises including hyperinflation, food shortages and the emigration of two million people. However, his record on human rights is less than perfect and the independence of the judiciary and the press are questionable. Corruption is also widespread in Kazakh society, making it an easy target for Ali G in his movie Borat. The obstacles faced in becoming a successful economy are described and examined honestly in this truly fascinating story.