The New Great Game: Blood and Oil in Central Asia, by Lutz Kleveman

An exemplary geographic and intellectual exploration by a courageous journalist.

This book has a number of things to recommend it. On one level it is a vivid travelogue of parts of the world most people have never visited - the Central Asian states, especially those surrounding the resource-rich Caspian Sea, as well as forays into Iran, China's Xinjiang province, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Few modern explorers have roamed such a vast swathe of disputed real estate. But it is Kleveman's analysis of the oil issue that underlie...

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