>Written as a travelogue, this 2002 book politically analyses the great political game for economic and strategic advantage that has raged in the Central Asia for centuries. In the past, it was the British and the Russians who played it for access to India and the trade routes and served as the background to Kipling’s Kim. The book, however focusses on the modern era .
Since WW2, its been the Russian, Americans and Chinese who, by generally foul means, have sought out the riches of Central Asia, first among them, oil. If you ever wondered why Iran and Iraq gets such attention, this book delivers. It also often concise understanding of why despite American aid, people hate their presence and young men are inclined to get angry. When America arrives and signs up with a repressive dictator allowing mistreatment to continue, the ideals of liberty and freedom seem rather shallow. It’s all a far cry from the hailing of America values n the early 1990s.
Note the date the book was written as it’s very significant. As the journalist constantly hears during interviews, no one is fooled by the great interest in the area from the major powers. It shines a bright light for the uninitiated and is a fine travelogue too.