After describing prison life, Izetbegovi'c has organized his reflections into sections. From his first note When I lose the reasons to live, I shall die, Izetbegovi'c provides a provocative collection of reflections that will interest scholars and researchers of contemporary Balkans, European Islam, and life during the last days of Communist Yugoslavia.
Beginning with research on Gorbachev's time in office, the book analyzes the effect of Moscow's policies on Kazakhstan and the factors which propelled the republic to independence. Next, one sees how Kazakhstan and Russia tried to establish a new, post-imperial basis for their relations during the first six months after the break-up of the Soviet Union. Subsequent chapters move from historical to structural analysis. With his inside knowledge of the mechanisms of Russian foreign policy formulation, the author pays particular attention to such controversial problems as Kazakh policy in the creation of a nation and its effects on Kazakhstan's Russian population; the concept of Eurasian Union, Custom's Union, and other integration initiatives supported by Kazakhstan; Kazakh nuclear disarmament; the Caspian Pipeline Consortium; and the legal status of the Caspian Sea.