The best books on the Uyghur Genocide

Who am I?

I traveled to Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the summer of 2019, where I saw for myself many of the tools of surveillance and control that the Chinese Communist Party has used to turn the region into an open-air prison. Since returning to the United States, I have tried to draw attention to the Uyghur genocide through my published articles and through my book, Middle Country, where I tell the story of the Uyghur genocide by weaving facts, history, and analysis into a narrative account of the week I spent in Xinjiang. I hope that my book can make this profoundly complex and multifaceted issue more accessible to the average person.


I wrote...

Middle Country: An American Student Visits China's Uyghur Prison-State

By Grayson Slover,

Book cover of Middle Country: An American Student Visits China's Uyghur Prison-State

What is my book about?

In Middle Country, Grayson Slover recounts the week he spent as a "student tourist" in Xinjiang, in the summer of 2019. He describes in vivid, personal detail the pervasive surveillance state that exists in Xinjiang today, his interactions with the local people, and his close encounters with the Xinjiang police. Slover weaves in relevant history and political analysis for readers to grasp how his first-hand experiences fit within the broader context of the CCP's genocidal campaign.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang

Grayson Slover Why did I love this book?

Eurasian Crossroads is an essential resource for anyone seeking to learn about the complex historical context of the genocide taking place in Xinjiang today. James Millward, who is widely regarded as the leading historian of Chinese Central Asia, provides an accessible-yet-thorough examination of the various peoples and empires that have called the region home. 

By James Millward,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Eurasian Crossroads as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Since antiquity, the vast Central Eurasian region of Xinjiang, or Eastern Turkestan, has stood at the crossroads of China, India, the Middle East, and Europe, playing a pivotal role in the social, cultural, and political histories of Asia and the world. Today, it comprises one-sixth of the territory of the People's Republic of China and borders India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Mongolia.

Eurasian Crossroads is an engaging and comprehensive account of Xinjiang's history and people from earliest times to the present day. Drawing on primary sources in several Asian and European languages, James A. Millward surveys Xinjiang's…


Book cover of How China Sees the World: Han-Centrism and the Balance of Power in International Politics

Grayson Slover Why did I love this book?

This book is a concise examination of the pervasive ethnocentrism in contemporary Chinese society - which the authors refer to as “Han-Centrism.” Although it mentions Xinjiang and the Uyghurs specifically only a handful of times, one cannot hope to understand what is happening there today without also understanding the influence of Han-Centrism.

By John M. Friend, Bradley A. Thayer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How China Sees the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Han-centrism, a virulent form of Chinese nationalism, asserts that the Han Chinese are superior to other peoples and have a legitimate right to advance Chinese interests at the expense of other countries. Han nationalists have called for policies that will allow China to reclaim the prosperity stolen by foreign powers during the "Century of Humiliation." The growth of Chinese capabilities and Han-centrism suggests that the United States, its allies, and other countries in Asia will face an increasingly assertive China - and also one that thinks it possesses a right to dominate international politics.

John M. Friend and Bradley A.…


Book cover of Made in China: A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America's Cheap Goods

Grayson Slover Why did I love this book?

In this book, Amelia Pang examines all aspects of China’s system of forced labor, which she explains has recently been deployed as a tool in the Uyghur genocide but has existed long before the genocide began. Importantly, she explains how Western consumers are complicit in Chinese forced labor through their choices to purchase the cheap goods that this system produces.

By Amelia Pang,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Made in China as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Most-Anticipated Book of the Year: Newsweek * Refinery29 "Timely and urgent . . . Pang is a dogged investigator." --The New York Times

"Moving and powerful." --Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author

Discover the truth behind the discounts.

In 2012, an Oregon mother named Julie Keith opened up a package of Halloween decorations. The cheap foam headstones had been five dollars at Kmart, too good a deal to pass up. But when she opened the box, something shocking fell out: an SOS letter, handwritten in broken English.
"Sir: If you occassionally buy this product, please kindly resend this…


Book cover of China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia

Grayson Slover Why did I love this book?

Peter C. Perdue gives an exhaustive account of the Qing Dynasty’s conquest of Xinjiang - which, according to many historians, was the first time a Chinese Dynasty consolidated its rule over the whole of the region. This history has important implications for claims regarding the legitimacy of Chinese rule over Xinjiang.

By Peter C. Perdue,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked China Marches West as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From about 1600 to 1800, the Qing empire of China expanded to unprecedented size. Through astute diplomacy, economic investment, and a series of ambitious military campaigns into the heart of Central Eurasia, the Manchu rulers defeated the Zunghar Mongols, and brought all of modern Xinjiang and Mongolia under their control, while gaining dominant influence in Tibet. The China we know is a product of these vast conquests.

Peter C. Perdue chronicles this little-known story of China's expansion into the northwestern frontier. Unlike previous Chinese dynasties, the Qing achieved lasting domination over the eastern half of the Eurasian continent. Rulers used…


Book cover of China's Forgotten People: Xinjiang, Terror and the Chinese State

Grayson Slover Why did I love this book?

This book provides the most accessible account of the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and the native peoples of Xinjiang. Holdstock draws on his own experience living in Xinjiang to show how the CCP’s failure to recognize the genuine grievances of the native peoples of the region helped to drive the terrorism problem that the CCP claims to be addressing today through its genocidal policies.

By Nick Holdstock,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked China's Forgotten People as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After isolated terrorist incidents in 2015, the Chinese leadership has cracked down hard on Xinjiang and its Uyghurs. Today, there are thought to be up to a million Muslims held in 're-education camps' in the Xinjiang region of North-West China. One of the few Western commentators to have lived in the region, journalist Nick Holdstock travels into the heart of the province and reveals the Uyghur story as one of repression, hardship and helplessness. China's Forgotten People explains why repression of the Muslim population is on the rise in the world's most powerful one-party state. This updated and revised edition…


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Book cover of The Romanov Heiress

Jennifer Laam Author Of The Romanov Heiress

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Who am I?

A proud native of Stockton, CA, Jennifer Laam resides in California with a temperamental tabby cat named Jonesy. Her other works of historical fiction are The Secret Daughter of the Tsar, The Tsarina’s Legacy, and The Lost Season of Love and Snow. When not reading or writing, she enjoys planning cosplay for the next San Diego Comic-Con, experimenting with vegetarian recipes (to mixed results), cooing at Baby Yoda, or obsessing over House Targaryen. 

Jennifer's book list on the last Romanovs

What is my book about?

Four sisters in hiding. A grand duchess in disguise. Dark family secrets revealed. An alternate future for the Romanovs from Jennifer Laam, author of The Secret Daughter Of The Tsar.

With her parents and brother missing and presumed dead, former Grand Duchess Olga Romanova must keep her younger sisters safe. The Bolsheviks are determined to eliminate any remaining holdovers from the tsarist regime, hunting down the last Romanovs and putting them to death. Now living in England, the Romanov sisters remain hidden to protect their identities, even as isolation strains their relationships. But they can’t distance themselves from the world forever.

The Romanov Heiress

By Jennifer Laam,

What is this book about?

Four sisters in hiding. A grand duchess in disguise. Dark family secrets revealed...an alternate future for the Romanovs from Jennifer Laam, author of The Secret Daughter of the Tsar and The Lost Season of Love and Snow.

With her parents and brother missing and presumed dead, Grand Duchess Olga Romanova must keep her younger sisters safe. The Bolsheviks are determined to eliminate any remaining holdovers from the tsarist regime, hunting down the last Romanovs and putting them to death. Now living in England, the Romanov sisters remain hidden to protect their identities, even as isolation strains their relationships.

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