The Agony of Socialism: Kazakh Memoirs of the Soviet Past

Latest publication from ACMCU Visiting Researcher Charles Weller

The Agony of Socialism: Kazakh Memoirs of the Soviet Past (Asia Research Associates, 2017)
Translated, edited and published by ACMCU Visiting Researcher Charles Weller


Amid continuing debate in the early 21st century, in the former Soviet states, the West, China and elsewhere, over the alleged merits and demerits of socialism as a political system, this work aims to expose its dark sides as experienced by the Kazakh (and other former Soviet) peoples during the Soviet era. The author, Garifolla Yesim, was born (1947) and raised in Soviet socialist Kazakhstan, emerging thereafter as a top national academic and Kazakhstani senate deputy in the post-Soviet period. Drawing on his many long years of personal life and political experience as well as academic training, he weaves together a compelling narrative interspersed with his own insightful commentary and the real-life stories of those who endured the tragedies he has preserved through oral transmission and now bequeaths as a memoir for this and all future generations to carefully ponder.

About the Authors

Garifolla Yesim is a professor of historical philosophy. He has served as Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Political Science at both Almaty State University (1992-98) and Kazakh National University (2001-10) in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He now teaches at Eurasian University in Astana while serving as a Senate deputy in the Kazakhstani government. He is an academic of top national honors who contributes regularly to national television and radio programs as well as newspaper and magazine publications. He has written numerous books and journal articles in both Kazakh and Russian.  

R. Charles Weller (Ph.D., Al-Farabi Kazakh National University) is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Roots of Contemporary Issues World History & Asia Programs at Washington State University and a non-residential Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (2014-2018). He specializes in history and identity in Tsarist Central Asia and the Islamic world, Western-Islamic relations, Western Imperialism and Asian/Islamic reform movements, and world history and historiography (18-20th cc.).

Read more about Dr. Charles Weller here.