Book by President Nazarbayev Traces Kazakhstan's Decision to Close
World's Second Largest Nuclear Military-Industrial Complex

Introductions by Former Senator Sam Nunn and Harvard's
Graham Allison

HOLLIS, New Hampshire, April 17, 2002 -  Hollis Publishing, a division of Puritan Press, Inc. today announces the publication of the English-language edition of Epicenter of Peace, a personal account by President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan's decision to relinquish the world's fourth largest nuclear arsenal.  Epicenter of Peace is an unprecedented book about unprecedented decisions.  The memoir reveals the secret history of Kazakhstan's decision to abolish nuclear weapons on its territory and to shut down forever the vast nuclear military-industrial complex built by Stalin at Semipalatinsk.

In Epicenter of Peace, President Nazarbayev explains the horrific experiences and psychological impact of years of nuclear testing on Kazakhstan's citizens.  He chronicles the difficult strategic decision to relinquish Kazakhstan's opportunity for superpower status in a region surrounded by nuclear superpowers and emerging nuclear threats. 

His dramatic story makes public a national leader's private thoughts affecting the stability of the entire world.  The reader is drawn into President Nazarbayev's unwavering personal commitment to lifting the nuclear nightmare for his population and making Central Asia a nuclear-free region. 

Epicenter also raises awareness of Kazakhstan's Nevada-Semipalatinsk Antinuclear Movement, possibly the world's largest and most successful antinuclear group, in a riveting story of an official and popular partnership for nonviolent change.

The book represents the culmination of and triumph over some of the deepest political, economic and cultural challenges of Kazakhstan's first ten years of independence.  "We had never lived and will never live again in such difficult but happy years," the President said during an emotional 50-minute Independence Day address on December 16.  He added, "We hold in our hands the future of one of the most multi-national and multi-faith countries of the world." 

"President Nazarbayev acted from his heart and has shown the way to think anew in the nuclear age," said former Senator Sam Nunn, Co-Chair and CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), in his foreword to the book.  Senator Nunn added, "This book brings important lessons to its readers and the world."

"When the history of the nuclear age is written, Kazakhstan will merit a special chapter," said Dr. Graham Allison, Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, in his introduction to the book.  Dr. Allison added, "President Nazarbayev played the decisive role in assuring his nation this unique distinction."

The Russian-language version of the book was released last fall at a UNESCO-supported conference honoring the tenth anniversary of Kazakhstan's decision to relinquish its nuclear arsenal.  President Nazarbayev announced Kazakhstan's unilateral decision to shut down forever the enormous Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site and the entire nuclear military-industrial complex built on its territory in Soviet times.  Kazakhstan has set an example for other countries by pledging to turn its considerable scientific and technological expertise to peaceful uses and economic development.

Epicenter of Peace was translated by Antonina W. Bouis, translator of seminal works by Andrei Sakharov, Anatoly Rybakov and Maya Plisetskaya, and edited by Ken Zita. 

Epicenter of Peace is available through Hollis Publishing, a division of Puritan Press Inc.  Contact:  Cathy Faye at Puritan Press, Inc. Tel.: (603) 889-4500 and Fax: (603) 889-6551 or Email: books@hollispublishing.com.

Proceeds from the sale of Epicenter of Peace will be donated to a fund for the victims of nuclear testing in Kazakhstan. 

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