Like Hidden Fire: The Plot to Bring Down the British Empire

Overview


A GRIPPING STORY OF IMPERIAL AMBITION, SWASHBUCKLING ADVENTURE, AND THE KAISER'S OWN JIHAD.

An acclaimed historian tells, for the first time, the full story of the conspiracy between the Germans and the Turks to unleash a Muslim holy war against the British in India and the Russians in the Caucasus. Drawing on recently opened intelligence files and rare personal accounts, Peter Hopkirk skillfully reconstructs the Kaiser's bold plan and describes the exploits of the secret ...

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Overview


A GRIPPING STORY OF IMPERIAL AMBITION, SWASHBUCKLING ADVENTURE, AND THE KAISER'S OWN JIHAD.

An acclaimed historian tells, for the first time, the full story of the conspiracy between the Germans and the Turks to unleash a Muslim holy war against the British in India and the Russians in the Caucasus. Drawing on recently opened intelligence files and rare personal accounts, Peter Hopkirk skillfully reconstructs the Kaiser's bold plan and describes the exploits of the secret agents on both sides-disguised variously as archaeologists, traders, and circus performers-as they sought to foment or foil the uprising and determine the outcome of World War I.

Here, in epic detail, the author of The Great Game and other works of history and espionage tells of the plot to bring down the British Empire. In 1914, during World War I, the Germans and Turks tried to start violent uprisings against the British in India and the Russians in Central Asia. 24 pages of illustrations; 3 maps.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Well-written, thoroughly researched."-Byron Farwell, Washington Times

"History that reads like a thriller....With consummate skill, Peter Hopkirk hews a strong narrative line through the tangle of events [and] illuminates the passions and the prizes implicated in today's turbulent events in the Middle East and Central Asia."-Luree Miller, Washington Post

"Splendid."-The Atlantic Monthly

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Expertly assembled from memoirs, diaries and secret intelligence reports of the day, Hopkirk's book recounts the attempt of Germany's Wilhelm II to harness the forces of militant Islam against Britain's imperial interests in central Asia during WW I. His efforts to rally the peoples of the Ottoman Empire, the Caucasus, Persia and Afghanistan--and the counterefforts by the British and Russians--were carried out largely by intelligence agents. If the book has a flaw it is its plethora of riches: there are plots here to supply several spy novels. In the final third of his study, Hopkirk ( The Great Game ) focuses on the unsuccessful defense of Baku by British, Russian and Armenian troops against the German-backed Turkish ``Army of God.'' Among those taken captive when the Azerbaijani capital fell in September 1918 were 26 Bolshevik commissars whose subsequent martyrdom became a staple of Soviet propaganda. Hopkirk's scholarly efforts, which included a visit to the remote massacre site, go a long way toward clearing up the mystery of their final hours. This little-known chapter of great-power rivalry in central Asia demonstrates that the region was no less volatile three-quarters of a century ago. Illustrations. (June)
Library Journal
The author of The Great Game (Kodansha, 1992) and other espionage narratives, Hopkirk tells a lively World War I story in this account of the Turco-German effort to move to the East and disrupt the British and Russian grip in Asia. The Turks dreamed of an expanded Ottoman Empire; the Germans planned to use the Turks and ultimately supplant them. A railroad heading east from Constantinople, a failed uprising in Calcutta, a wild race to Afghanistan, and a matching of wits with Lawrence of Arabia occurred simultaneously as Germany faltered in the West and the effort gradually lost steam. Libraries where Hopkirk's previous tales have been popular will want to add this one also.-Nancy C. Cridland, Indiana Univ. Libs., Bloomington
Booknews
It was 1914 when Germany and Turkey hatched a plot to drive Britain out of India and Tsarist Russia out of Islamic Central Asia and divide half the world between a Teutonic Empire and a revived Ottoman Empire. Popular writer Hopkirk (The Great Game, etc.) draws on secret intelligence reports, memoirs of participants, and other primary sources to construct his historical thriller. First published in Britain in 1994 as On Secret Service East of Constantinople Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568361277
  • Publisher: Kodansha International
  • Publication date: 5/28/1997
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 697,744
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

PETER HOPKIRK, a former reporter for the Times of London, has written several books about adventures in Central Asia, including The Great Game, Setting the East Ablaze, and Trespassers on the Roof of the World, all available from Kodansha Globe.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2000

    The Origins of International Terrorism and the Caspian as We Know It

    A history book of the first order that reads more like a thriller. Fine, it isn't as fast-paced as your average espionage potboiler, but you'll never read the paper the same way again. The book shows how the seeds of international hatred are sown, and shows how a few extraordinary individuals can come close to altering the course of a war in which millions fought. Filled with colorful characters, races against the clock, and relevance to the present day.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 26, 2010

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    Posted May 23, 2009

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