This is an account of the encounter last century between the British in India and Tsarist Russia in Central Asia which became known as the Great Game. When the encounter began the frontiers of Russia and British India lay some 2000 apart. By the end, the gap had shrunk in places to 20 miles. As Russia pushed forward her frontiers young officers found the fulfilment of their dreams in the chance to escape garrison life and find promotion and glory in the Caucasus, China and Tibet.;Peter Hopkirk has also written Foreign Devils on the Silk Road, Trespassers on the Roof of the World and Setting the East Ablaze.
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In a phrase coined by Captain Arthur Connolly of the East India Company before he was beheaded in Bokhara for spying in 1842, a "Great Game" was played between Tsarist Russia and Victorian England for supremacy in Central Asia. At stake was the security of India, key to the wealth of the British Empire. When play began early in the 19th century, the frontiers of the two imperial powers lay two thousand miles apart, across vast deserts and almost impassable mountain ranges; by the end, only 20 miles separated the two rivals.
Peter Hopkirk, a former reporter for The Times of London with wide experience of the region, tells an extraordinary story of ambition, intrigue, and military adventure. His sensational narrative moves at breakneck pace, yet even as he paints his colorful characters--tribal chieftains, generals, spies, Queen Victoria herself--he skillfully provides a clear overview of the geographical and diplomatic framework. The Great Game was Russia's version of America's "Manifest Destiny" to dominate a continent, and Hopkirk is careful to explain Russian viewpoints as fully as those of the British. The story ends with the fall of Tsarist Russia in 1917, but the demise of the Soviet Empire (hastened by a decade of bloody fighting in Afghanistan) gives it new relevance, as world peace and stability are again threatened by tensions in this volatile region of great mineral wealth and strategic significance. --John StevensonFrom the Publisher:
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Book Description John Murray Publishers Ltd, 1990. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11071954727X