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Xinjiang, China#xE2;#xAC;"s far northwestern province where the majority of the population are Muslim Uighurs, was for most of its history contested territory. On the Silk Road, a region of overlapping cultures, the province was virtually independent until the late nineteenth century, nominally part of the Qing Empire, with considerable interest taken in it by the British and the Russians as part of their Great Game rivalry in Asia. Ruled by warlords in the early twentieth century, it was occupied in 1949-50 by the People#xE2;#xAC;"s Liberation Army, since when attempts have been made to integrate the province more fully into China. This book outlines the history of Xinjiang. It focuses on the key city of Kashghar, the symbolic heart of Uighur society, drawing on a large body of records in which ordinary people provided information on the period around the communist takeover. These records provide an exceptionally rich source, showing how ordinary Uighurs lived their everyday lives before the communist takeover, and how their everyday lives were profoundly affected by the communist takeover. Subjects covered by the book include work, government, the built environment, religion, culture and politics.