The Silent Steppe

By Mukhamet Shayakhmetov, Jan Butler (translator),

Book cover of The Silent Steppe: The Story of a Kazakh Nomad Under Stalin

Book description

This is a first-hand account of the genocide of the Kazakh nomads in the 1920s and 30s. Nominally Muslim, the Kazakhs and their culture owed as much to shamanism and paganism as they did to Islam. Their ancient traditions and economy depended on the breeding and herding of stock across…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

1 author picked The Silent Steppe as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This beautifully-crafted memoir beginning in 1930s Soviet-ruled Kazakhstan inspired me to seek out a survivor of the famine that tore through the land and left over a million Kazakhs dead during that traumatic decade. I found a feisty nonagenarian who recounted how she walked from Kazakhstan to China at the age of six to find food. Shayakhmetov’s book charts the famine and the accompanying destruction of the nomadic lifestyle the Kazakhs had led for generations until the iron fist of Soviet rule came crashing down. He lyrically evokes his carefree childhood as the son of nomadic herders, which came to…

Want books like The Silent Steppe?

Our community of 9,000+ authors has personally recommended 72 books like The Silent Steppe.

Browse books like The Silent Steppe

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Central Asia, Kazakhstan, and Joseph Stalin?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Central Asia, Kazakhstan, and Joseph Stalin.

Central Asia Explore 28 books about Central Asia
Kazakhstan Explore 9 books about Kazakhstan
Joseph Stalin Explore 30 books about Joseph Stalin