World Affairs Councils Podcast

Jeffrey Lilley on “Have the Mountains Fallen”

September 13, 2018

In Have the Mountains Fallen?: Two Journeys of Loss and Redemption in the Cold War, Jeffrey Lilley's new book puts the spotlight on Kyrgyzstan. He examines the threat and legacy of the Soviet empire through intersecting narratives of a captive people's aspiration for freedom.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: After the witnessing the collapse of the Soviet Union as a journalist in the 1990s, Jeff Lilley moved to Central Asia in 2004. During a three-year posting in Kyrgyzstan, he started reading the works of Chinghiz Aitmatov, slept in yurts, drank fermented mare's milk, and hiked in the country's beautiful mountains. Over the following ten years, as he worked in the field of democracy and governance in support of Washington, DC, and the Middle East, he continued researching Aitmatov while adding Altay's remarkable life story. He finished writing the book in 2016, shortly before returning to Kyrgyzstan to lead a British-funded parliamentary support program. Lilley is the coauthor of China Hands: Nine Decades of Adventure, Espionage and Diplomacy (Public Affairs, 2004).