Universal conscription has been the main form of military recruitment in the 19th and 20th centuries. In Central Asia and the Middle East it has been ruthlessly imposed on agrarian and undeveloped societies with little regard for individual interest, economic disruption, or intense local resistance. This book provides a fresh approach to the understanding of conscription, with contributions from social and political historians in an area traditionally covered by military historians. It focuses on the previously undiscussed areas of Ottoman Turkey and Egypt (where some of the most extreme forms of conscription occurred), Iran, Central Asia and the Balkans.
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