The Kurds. Legend of the East
Keywords:Book reviews, Kurds, Martin van Bruinessen
This handsomely produced coffee table book celebrates the Russian contribution to Kurdish studies and was produced as a public relations gesture by the Russian oil industry, apparently in the context of the signing of significant investment contracts with the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government. Gazprom Neft, one of the two companies involved (the other is Rosneft), asserts copyright. What makes the book of more than incidental interest is the involvement of Russia’s academic establishment. Vitaly V. Naumkin and Irina F. Popova, who put their names on the book, are the directors of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Oriental Studies (Moscow) and Institute of Oriental Manuscripts (St. Petersburg), respectively. The authors of the seventeen chapters in the book are members of the academic staff of these two institutes, specialists in the Kurdish language and literature, history, and culture. Many of the illustrations are from various Russian archives and have, to my knowledge, not been published before.