The Volga Tatars is the first Western language study that investigates the history of the Volga Tatars since the Tenth Century A.D. The central theme of the book is the shaping and evolution of the identity of these people, focusing on the history of the first non-Christian and non-Slavic people incorporated into the Russian state.
The author has clearly defined, for the serious student and the general reader alike, a solid frame of reference in which to place the pre-1917 history of one group of Russia's Islamic people. She has carefully analyzed Tatar history and brilliantly illustrated the relevance of their past with regard to modern events and issues.
The book contains an excellent bibliography that draws together a wealth of material hitherto unknown to Western readers and unavailable within any other single source. Rorlich's scholarly and comprehensive study is a welcome addition to the Hoover Institution Press's Studies of Nationalities in the USSR.