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Kazakhstan is in some ways a very old nation dating back to the Kazakh Khanate of 1458, but it dramatically transformed within the Russian Empire and even more so during the period when it was part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Since 1991 it has been independent and has had to forge its own policy in all fields. Kazakhstan is in an enviable position in terms of exportable natural resources, but at the same time it is faced with many domestic problems, such as an inadequate infrastructure. Along with solving a multitude of social problems, Kazakhstan has had to simultaneously create a normal functioning state, which added to its political difficulties. The situation at present is a state run by a strong ruler, which solves some problems but creates others.
The Historical Dictionary of Kazakhstan covers the history of Kazakhstan through a chronology, an introductory essay, appendixes, and a bibliography. The dictionary section has over 400 cross-referenced entries on important personalities, politics, economy, foreign relations, religion, and culture. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Kazakhstan.