THE GREAT GAME BOOK
The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia is a book on the history of the region by Peter Hopkirk. Description. In this work, the author relates the story . Start by marking “The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia” as Want to Read: Hopkirk's spellbinding account of the great imperial struggle for supremacy in Central Asia has been hailed as essential reading with that era's legacy playing itself out today. The Great Game between Victorian Britain and Tsarist Russia was fought across Story time just got better with Prime Book Box, a subscription that delivers.
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The Great Game between Victorian Britain and Tsarist Russia was fought His books include Foreign Devils on the Silk Road, Trespassers on the Roof of the. By the end, some Russian outposts were within 20 miles of India. This book tells the story of the Great Game through the exploits of the young officers, both. THE GREATGAME: THE EPIC STORY BEHIND TODAY'S HEADLINES Peter Hopkirk's spellbinding account of the great imperial struggle for supremacy in.
In fact, by using this style he takes an important tack that makes the book really sing. By using that Victorian colonial-adventure style, he gets you in the heads of the Brits and Russinas who were, in that day, reading all of this rip and run super-adventure stuff. It's really hard to understand the mentality of British soldiers in the late 19th Century, or even in WWI!!!! Think midsWB cartoons if you're an American of a certain age.
They're so out of style now that it's hard for me to provide an example. Lawrence, he read them too.
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Anyway, I admire the ability of an author to pull the reader back in to the minds of their protagonists and their contemporaries. Plus, this style makes the book read like a cheap titillating novel.
This is one fast read considering the breadth of the work. A bit about the content of the book might be useful after all of my bombination on style: The Great Game relates the history of the struggle between the British Empire and the Russian Empire over the strongholds of Central Asia. Basically this was an imperialist struggle.
It wasn't a race for oil yet. The Brits had a ton of colonies, the jewel of which was the Raj. As the Russians made attempts to grab parts of Central Asia, the Brits freaked out over the safety of their sacred cow and engaged in a very entertaining, deadly and technical spy game with the Russians to infiltrate and map these unknown regions and try to ingratiate themselves with the local leaders.
Hopkirk describes this struggle from its nascence in Alexander I's triumph over Napoleon to the decline of Russia after the Russo-Japanese War. While Russia was intent on expanding its empire into Central Asia, Britain was trying very hard to keep India British, so they were on full-alert to any Russian incursions into Central Asia.
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For a hundred years--culminating in the Convention of the game, essentially, was Russian thrust and British parry, though occasionally vice versa.
Determining who was where, and why, became an obsession for both.
Charting terra incognita, particularly putative invasion routes, was indispensable and most often undertaken by a lone traveler of immeasurable bravery, in disguise, and with no assurance of rescue or even recognition once his cover was blown. Assuming survival, a second task was to line up the support of tribal rulers against the adversary.
So isolated were the assorted khanates and kingdoms that the overtures were met with derision.
The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia
What kind of tribe would be ruled by a queen? How many camels does this tsar person have? Meanwhile, alliances made among the Persians, Turks, French, Afghans and Chinese, as well as the British, the Russians and their Central Asian subalterns, were made and broken almost weekly.
The entanglements are duly noted by Hopkirk, but "Whenever possible I have tried to tell the story through the individuals. Despite unparalleled expansion square miles a day for four centuries!
The real estate of choice was that of the three khanates--Khiva, Bokhara and Khokand. Afghanistan was considered by the British as a buffer state between India and whatever deviltry might be brewing in the north. The khans' territory was a sort of buffer for the buffer. The Afghans, as bellicose then as now, knew little and cared less about the Game. Just don't mess with us , they warned.
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The British took them up on it, and lost. So, a century later, did the Russians. Crisscrossing the khanates--as well as the Caucasus and Chinese Turkestan, alternate invasion routes from east and west--was a galaxy of heroes, villains and surpassingly strange wanderers, operating in places that still echo:.Yes that was the british administered Raj's "Government of India" but Geopolitical realities rarely change with the ethnicity of those in power.
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Captain Burnabys Ride to Khiva.