A DANGEROUS NEW TWIST IN THE GREAT GAME
In this gripping narrative Peter Hopkirk tells how Lenin and his revolutionary comrades tried, in the period between the two world wars, to set the East ablaze with their heady new gospel of Marxism. Their dream was to "liberate" the whole of Asia, and their starting point was British India, the richest of all imperial possessions.
The bloody struggle that ensued, the full story of which has never been told, marked a dramatic new twist in the Great Game. Among the players were British Indian intelligence officers and the armed revolutionaries of the Communist International. There were also Muslim visionaries and Chinese warlords-as well as a White Russian baron who roasted his Bolshevik captives alive.
Pieced together from secret archives, intelligence reports, and the long-forgotten memoirs of the players involved, here is an extraordinary tale of intrigue and treachery. Like Hopkirk's bestselling The Great Game, its theme is ominously topical in view of the violent events that still grip this turbulent region-from the Caucasus to Afghanistan-where the Great Game never really ended.
Amid the sand and rock of Central Asia, Russia and England spent much of the 19th century playing what historians have come to call the Great Game: the struggle for control over transcontinental routes from Europe to the Far East. When the Bolsheviks came to power in 1917, Lenin continued to press Russian--now Soviet--claims to faraway, fabled places such as Samarkand and Hotan. The intrigues of his agents and their British counterparts, swashbucklers all, could come from a modern spy novel, and they make for fascinating reading in Peter Hopkirk's vivid account.