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This is a rich and comprehensive book on the history and civilization of the Tatars and the first to be published in the English language. It is a collaborative work in which 35 scholars from Tatarstan participated. The book begins with the comprehensive Introduction by Dr. Damir Ishaqov titled “The Tatar World: Ethnos, Culture and Language”. It is followed by Part I on History, containing 10 chapters. This part evaluates the historical transformation of Tatar society and institutions from pre-Islamic times to the post-Soviet era. Part II on Social Structure and Economic Development in Tatar Society, which has six chapters, focus on the social structure, economic development and daily life of Tatar community. Part III on Culture, with 10 chapters, covers the evolution of Tatar language, educational institutions, arts and culture. Each part ends with a section of photographs. The book was originally prepared in the Tatar language under the coordination of IRCICA Director General Dr. Halit Eren and the scholarly advice of Professors Mirkasim A. Usmanov and Rafael S. Khakimov; it was translated into English by Ilnur Nadirov, and prepared for publication at IRCICA.
Knowledge of Tatar history and civilization around the world was until recently confined to a limited circle of specialists. However interest in the subject has been growing recently as is reflected through the IRCICA conferences on Volga-Ural history and civilization among others. The Conclusion by Prof. Rafael Khakimov points to the importance of the Tatar factor in understanding the history of Russia and the whole world. IRCICA believes that the present publication will contribute importantly in this direction. Research and learning interest about the Tatar factor in history and civilization will grow simultaneously with the process Khakimov describes concisely and meaningfully at the end of his Conclusion: “Today many things have fundamentally changed, but Tatar civilization leans on its own experience and values”. There is a great deal to draw from this experience and these values, as the published studies have already demonstrated.