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Ilham: Portrait of a President (Hardbound) E-mail


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Ilham: Portrait of a President is the first international biography of a statesman who has forged one of the economic miracles of modern times. Ilham Aliyev was born in Baku in 1961 in the wake of the Berlin Crisis and months before the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was the height of the Cold War.

As the son of a party stalwart, in one of the major capitals of the Soviet Union, Ilham lived a typical Soviet childhood, punctuated by propaganda and the requirement to conform.

At 16, he completed his education in Baku and joined the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), one of the Soviet Union’s premier universities.

By this time his father had joined the Soviet Politburo in Moscow. Ilham: Portrait of a President portrays a young student wishing to achieve in his own right. Indeed, having graduated from the university he was employed by MGIMO as a researcher and lecturer.

In 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev sent troops into the streets of Baku. The ensuing massacre and its political ramifications saw Ilham terminated from MGIMO and black listed.

The Communist system was collapsing and Ilham had a young family to support.Turning to private enterprise, he was among the first wave of Eastern European businessmen, building a highly successful enterprise. But fate and his father — by now President of an independent Azerbaijan — intervened. From academia and private business, he was recalled to Baku where, as Vice President of the state oil company, he negotiated the ‘Contract of the Century’, an international oil deal that would transform Azerbaijan.

Over the next few years Ilham entered parliament, became head of the National Olympic Committee and the Azerbaijani delegation to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.

But it was only in late 2003 that he truly emerged on the world stage, first as Prime Minister, and then claiming the Presidency with a whopping 76.8 per cent of the vote.

The Presidency comes with a heavy burden. The return of Armenia-occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions and the fate of Azerbaijan’s one million refugees and Internally Displaced Persons hang heavy. Yet despite these constant pressures, Ilham has built a modern, booming economy and seen Azerbaijan claim plaudits for increasing government transparency and the emerging democratic base.

Ilham: Portrait of a President portrays the unique story of a Soviet-era scholar who has emerged as one of the unipolar world’s most progressive young leaders. The newly independent nation is building a robust civil society, democracy has taken root, poverty rates have dropped dramatically and Azerbaijan is winning international plaudits for transparency and good governance.

Ilham: Portrait of a President is the first English-language biography of this intriguing statesman.

USD 35.00
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