The author, Durnam Mashurova (1943-), is a well-known poetess and lyricist in Kazakhstan. She belongs to the ethnic minority of Uighurs, a population of Islamic Turkic-language speakers inhabiting Northwest China and Eastern Kazakhstan. In 1965, during the time that Kazakhstan was one of the fifteen republics of the Soviet Union, she married Azat Mashurov (1940-2000), a hard-working man who became a leader of not only the Uighur minority in his region, but of Kazakhstan itself, rising from a workman's origins by the time of the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991 to the position of First Secretary of the Kazakh Communist Party's Regional Committee for the Panfilovsky Region. There was not much of interest in Kazakhstan's history in the four decades from the 1960's through his death at the age of 60 in 2000 that Azat Mashurov was not involved in in some way. In his lifetime he was awarded the Soviet Medal of Lenin for his positive achievements on behalf of the people. But what is his legacy now that the Soviet Union is no more? The Communism he championed and exemplified is moribund in the world. The country he struggled to advance is profoundly changed, and embarked upon a different path. Answering this important question of his legacy is the real point of this book, A LIFE LIVED NOT IN VAIN ("Our World" Publishers, Almaty, Kazakhstan, 2007, in a translation from the original Uighur into Russian by Khamit Khamraev, illustrated with captioned photos, 144 pages, ISBN 9965-746-02-8). The Introduction by Il'kham Prize laureate poetess Patigul Maskatova is entitled "Life--the days lived out in love..." And indeed this is a love story first, told by a wife who witnessed it all in admiration of her husband's constant competence and care for others of his family, his people, and his country. Through Durnam's stories of her life and her husband Azat's life, we see the hardships and hunger in the 1940's during the time of Josef Stalin's post-WWII administration. We see their living standard raised by constant Herculean efforts to surmount the economic deficiencies in the 1950's and 1960's, we see the rise of environmental concerns and the time of Gorbachev's "glasnost" and "perestroika." We see the nascence of the new Kazakhstan and its personalities, well known to Azat. But more clearly do we see throughout the book a concerned husband, father, and friend. The stories are simple but elegantly told, sometimes providing a humorous image (as when Azat comes home bespattered with mud, having struggled to push a car out of a road transformed by rain into a bog), and they are touching (as the relation of the wedding of their son Dil'shat shortly after Azat's death, where a friend's playing of the stringed Dutar evokes the father's spirit and assures, says Dil'shat to comfort his mother, the success of the marriage). What we learn is that the legacy of the "Uighur Pride," Azat Mashurov, is not primarily sociopolitical, nor economic, nor environmental. It's a HUMAN legacy, hard earned by a man who spent his entire life HELPING people. Now even in the post-Soviet world the people of his home town have erected to him a monument of gratitude and positive memory. They named a street after him. He was a man remembered in love, and that's the best legacy of all. This is a very interesting and touching book to read, and is most deserving of an English translation. In the afterword, the author explains that the Russian translation omits by necessity of its difficulty several poems from the Uighur original version, so that the English translation should optimally be made directly from the Uighur. Not everyone can do this well, of course. Son Dil'shat, perhaps?