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Julia Obertreis

Prof. Dr. Obertreis holds the Chair of Modern and East European History at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany).

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Julia Obertreis

Imperial Desert Dreams

Cotton Growing and Irrigation in Central Asia, 1860–1991

1. Edition 2017
536 pages
ISBN 978-3-8471-0786-6
V&R unipress

70,00 €
PDF eBook 59,99 € BUY

Officials, engineers and scientists in the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union envisaged the expansion and modernization of irrigation systems and cotton growing in Central Asia. Focusing on the region of today’s Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, this book highlights the continuities in discourse and policies beyond the historical divide of 1917. One of the central topoi was the transformation of ‘dead’ lands into ‘blossoming oases’. High modernism policies hit their peak in the post-war decades. From the 1970s, an ecological critique evolved which gained momentum in the Perestroika period. Ultimately, the grave ecological, economic and social consequences of the growth-fixated modernization contributed to the downfall of the Communist regime.

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