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Using the concept of the “Great Game” that Rudyard Kipling immortalized in his novel Kim, Kleveman argues that now a New Great Game rages in the region, a modern variant of the nineteenth-century clash of imperial ambitions of Great Britain and Tsarist Russia. Only this time the stakes are raised. Desperate to wean itself from dependence on the powerful OPEC cartel, the United States is now pitted in this struggle against Russia, China, and Iran, all competing for dominance of the Caspian region, its resources and pipeline routes.
Complicating the playing field are transnational energy corporations with their own agendas and the brash new, Wild Weststyle entrepreneurs who have taken control after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Traveling thousands of miles, from the Caucasus peaks across the central Asian plains down to the Afghan Hindu Kush, Kleveman met with the principal Great Game actors between Kabul and Moscow: oil barons, generals, diplomats, and warlords.
Based on extensive research and travel in the Caucasus, the Caspian, and Central Asia, The New Great Game is a gripping narrative and a savvy and incisive analysis of the power struggle for the world’s remaining energy resources.
|The Devil's Tears: An Introduction||1|
|Pipeline Poker: Baku's Oil Boom||11|
|Stalin's Legacy: Georgia||31|
|Bandits and Oil Barons: Chechnya||51|
|The Big Pipeline: Decision in the Villa Petrolea||65|
|The New Oil Dorado: Kazakhstan||74|
|The Waking Giant: China||96|
|Persian Trump Cards: Iran||116|
|Stalin's Disneyland: Turkmenistan||144|
|The Yankees Arrive: Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan||165|
|Pipe Dreams: Afghanistan||199|
|The Cradle of Terror: Pakistan||234|
|Angry Young Men: An Epilogue||255|
Posted March 17, 2006
I knew little about Central Asia, much less the intricacies of its economic and political situation. Kleveman's journalistic style makes this an enjoyable read and his reporting brings a non-specialist up to date. He explains his own personal experiences and also presents the relevent history of the region with integrity. I am confident that one will come away feeling 'in the know' with regards the present and future developments of the oil and gas industry and the socio-political situation of Central Asia, the United States and the major suppliers of our petroleum in the Middle East. One will hopefully also gain a sense of fitting toghether a vital piece of the puzzle that is the relation of the global oil market to the politics of regions. At the moment, given Kleveman's presentation, the only viable alternative that the Bush administration seems to be acknowledging with regards a shift away from dependecy in Middle Eastern oil is to invest heavily in Central Asia. Hence the importance of Kleveman's work.
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Posted January 4, 2005
I read this book with great interest. It portrays in concrete detail this little-known area of the world. It is fascinating, in terms of all that potential oil wealth along side abject poverty and the 'clash of civilizations' (Russian, Iranian, Chinese, etc.). The author portrays his subject with great objectivity. However, in the chapter on Iran, he hardly mentions the fact that Iran has been the number one sponsor of terrorism in the world since 1979, and is basically in a state of war with the U.S. Also, his comment that the Iranian nuclear program is for 'civil' purposes is of course pure speculation at best. The chapter on Iran was disappointing, because he treats Iran as if it were not a terror state. However, I would still highly recommend this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.