New Nazarbayev biography by British official arrives in Astana

January 28. Central Asia Newswire

New Nazarbayev biography by British official arrives in AstanaA book launch ceremony of the biography of Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, written by a former British government minister, was held in the capital Astana on Thursday.

The favorable biography, translated into the Kazakh language, was written by Jonathan Aitken in an endeavor to present the accomplishments of the Kazakh leader that he thought are overlooked by the West, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported.

Aitken told the news agency the book, entitled “Nazarbayev and the Making of Kazakhstan: From Communism to Capitalism,” was the truth about the rise of a man who was born into a simple family to the leader he is today.

A Russian translation of the autobiography in that year drew both praise and criticism in Kazakhstan and elsewhere.

Aitken defended his work in an interview with Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper in 2009.

“It is not an authorized biography. It is not a puff piece I have written,” he said, according to RFE/RL.

The former UK Conservative cabinet minister also said he did not receive any government money to write the book.

President Nazarbayev gave Aitken nearly 28 hours of interviews for the biography, according to Reuters news agency.

The launch ceremony in Astana was reportedly attended by the author, the news agency noted.