Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game And the Race for Empire in Central Asia / Edition 1

Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game And the Race for Empire in Central Asia / Edition 1

by Karl E. Meyer, Shareen Blair Brysac

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ISBN-10: 0465045766

ISBN-13: 9780465045761

Pub. Date: 03/28/2006

Publisher: Basic Books

From the romantic conflicts of the Victorian Great Game to the war-torn history of the region in recent decades, Tournament of Shadows traces the struggle for control of Central Asia and Tibet from the 1830s to the present. The original Great Game, the clandestine struggle between Russia and Britain for mastery of Central Asia, has long been regarded as one


From the romantic conflicts of the Victorian Great Game to the war-torn history of the region in recent decades, Tournament of Shadows traces the struggle for control of Central Asia and Tibet from the 1830s to the present. The original Great Game, the clandestine struggle between Russia and Britain for mastery of Central Asia, has long been regarded as one of the greatest geopolitical conflicts in history. Many believed that control of the vast Eurasian heartland was the key to world dominion. The original Great Game ended with the Russian Revolution, but the geopolitical struggles in Central Asia continue to the present day. In this updated edition, the authors reflect on Central Asia's history since the end of the Russo-Afghan war, and particularly in the wake of 9/11.

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Basic Books
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Table of Contents

The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia

Prologue: The View from the Khyber

Chapter One: The Horse Doctor

William Moorcroft, Britain's first veterinarian - He is hired by the East India Company to improve the breed - Moorcroft searches for better horses - His travels to Tibet with Hyder Young Hearsey - A dog's suspicious tricks - They explore the sacred Lake Manasarovar and Mount Kailas in Tibet - Their imprisonment and escape from the Gurkhas

Chapter Two: A River Too Far

Moorcroft's Great Expedition, with George Trebeck - He meets and treats Ranjit Singh, the Lion of Lahore - Moorcoft and Trebeck reach Ladakh - More Russian tracks - They proceed to Kashmir, the Khyber, and Kabul in Afghanistan - Their caravan eludes the Uzbek chief Murad Beg - They enter Bokhara and see its Emir - Death at Andkhoi (1825)

Chapter Three: The Road to Kabul

Lady Butler's famous painting, The Remnants of an Army, depicting Dr. Brydon, sole Briton to complete the retreat from Kabul - Charles Metcalfe, as acting Governor-General of the East India Company, frees the press - His successor, Lord Auckland, arrives with his clever sister, Emily Eden - At Simla, the hatching of the First Afghan War - Josiah Harlan, the fighting American Quaker - Eldred Pottinger, undercover hero at the Persian siege at Herat - Charles Masson, deserter, spy, antiquarian

Chapter Four: "Here Comes the Messenger"

The meteoric ascent of Alexander Burnes - He becomes "Bokhara" Burnes - His failed mission to Kabul - Russia's Captain Ivan Vitkevich arrives - Burnes returns, Army of the Indus assembles and advances through Bolan Pass - The fall of Ghazni, Dost Mohammed flees Kabul - Shah Shuja enthroned by triumphant British - A long occupation - Burnes is murdered, John Macnaghten's death follows - The disastrous retreat - William Brydon stumbles into Jalalabad (1842) - Lord Palmerston and John Bright differ on who was responsible

Chapter Five: The Russians Are Coming

Frederick Jackson Turner and the frontier mystique - Russia's phenomenal expansion, and Europe's apprehensions - Tsarist conquests in Siberia, the Caucasus, then Central Asia - The slave markets of Bokhara - Charles Stoddart and Arthur Conolly end up in the Emir of Bokhara's bug-pit - Dr. Joseph Wolff's solo rescue effort - The Crimean War (1853-56), its causes and consequences - Tolstoy's anger, and Dmitrii Miliutin's military reforms

Chapter Six: The Raj Imperiled

The misnamed Indian Mutiny (1857-58), also known as India's First War of Independence - An Indian heroine, the Rani of Jhansi - The outbreak at Meerut - The Rani's death, British vengeance - How the Punjab saved the Raj - The brothers John and Henry Lawrence - The relief of Lucknow - Russia's relentless advance - Two British responses: Henry Rawlinson's Forward School and John Lawrence's Masterly Inactivity - Enter the Americans, Eugene Schuyler and Januarius MacGahan - Khiva falls - "The Bulgarian Horrors" - Skobelev, the "White General" and the epic siege at Plevna - MacGahan's death (1878) - Dostoevsky's taunt

Chapter Seven: Bloomsbury's War

How Lytton and the brothers Strachey fought the Second Afghan War - Disraeli finds a bold and imaginative Viceroy - New alarms about Tsarist designs on Afghanistan - Lytton delivers an ultimatum to Sher Ali - Russia pulls backs as British armies advance on Kabul - Sher Ali flees, Afghans agree to accept a British Resident - Major Cavagnari is slain - General (Bobs) Roberts settles scores -- Abdur Rahman, a Russian pensioner, is "recognized" as Afghan Emir by British - The Battle of Maiwand (1880), and its aftermath

Chapter Eight: Her Majesty's Indian Secret Service

Kipling's Kim and its odd fan club - Mapping the Empire -Thomas Manning reaches Lhasa - The Survey of India and Everest's discovery - The Rawats become Pundits - Sarat Chandra Das and Lama Ugyen Gyatso, Tibet's clandestine explorers - Das reaches Lhasa (1882)- The Lhacham comes to his aid - A brutal epilogue

Chapter Nine: "A Carbine in One Hand, a Whip in the Other"

The apotheosis of the explorer - The Imperial Geographical Society and military intelligence - The ascent of Nikolai Przhevalsky - His first expedition - His successive protŽgŽs - Back again in Asia, destination Lhasa - Acclaimed as Marco Polo's successor - He recruits Pyotr Kozlov on his last expedition (1883-85) - Chekhov's eulogy

Chapter Ten: Mystical Imperialism

The Tsarevich and Prince Ukhtomsky visit Ceylon (1891) - Mme. Helena P. Blavatsky (HPB), and her American consort, Colonel Olcott - Theosophy flourishes, HPB is the talk of Simla - Was she a spy? - Duleep Singh, Ranjit's son, loses his throne - Queen Victoria befriends the deposed and exiled Maharajah - He discovers he is not an English squire - He tries to reach India, is detained at Aden - In Petersburg, he seeks the Tsar's help - Duleep Singh sees his Queen for the last time (1891) - His unclaimed legacy in a Swiss bank vault

Chapter Eleven: Emissary to the White Tsar

Agvan Dorzhiev, Russian Buriat and freedom-seeker - He eludes the Raj's scrutiny en route from Lhasa to Petersburg - Dorzhiev as an adviser to the Great Thirteenth Dalai Lama - Ukhtomsky, Badmaev and the "Easterners" at the Tsar's court - The peregrinations of Agvan Dorzhiev and Ovshe Norzunov - Dorzhiev is sighted by the British in Odessa (1901) - The rise in Russia of Count Sergei Witte, apostle of railroads and expansion

Chapter Twelve: Curzon's Hour

Curzon's upbringing and character - The influence at Oxford of Balliol's Benjamin Jowett - Curzon's marriage to Mary Leiter of Chicago - The Viceroy's Tibetan anxieties - His suspicions about Dorzhiev - Curzon asks Francis Younghusband to lead Tibetan mission - Younghusband enters Lhasa (1904) - He is extracts an agreement, and is censured for exceeding orders - Curzon is humbled by Kitchener, and Brodrick, his schoolboy chum - Tibet is doubly the loser

Chapter Thirteen: The Desert Wanderer

Sven Hedin, Sweden's explorer nonpareil - The Royal Geographical Society, the high church of cartography - Hedin as tutor in Baku - His first expedition along the Silk Road - The "death march" through the Taklamakan Desert - Hedin heads for Tibet, defying Lord Morley's veto - His triumphant return, his meeting with the Tsar - The fateful RGS lecture (1909) - He attacks the Pundits - The bothersome matter of Hedin's maps - Colonel Thomas Holdich's critique - Hedin backs the Kaiser, to the limit, in World War I - He is excommunicated by the RGS

Chapter Fourteen: The Spoils of Serindia

Sir Aurel Stein, the civil servant as seeker and digger - His Hungarian origins and passage to India - His meeting with Curzon, and the first expedition - Stein befriends Macartney at Kashgar - The rediscovery of the ancient Silk Road - He crosses the Taklamakan, the deadliest desert - Germany's Albert GrŸnwedel and Albert von Le Coq join the scramble - Lord Minto approves Stein's second expedition: "Rejoice"

Chapter Fifteen: The Last of the "Foreign Devils"

Stein's epic second expedition (1906-07) - "The Caves of the Thousand Buddhas" at Dunhuang - Abbot Wang and the cache in Cave 17 - Espionage and archaeology, a silent partnership - Germany, France (Paul Pelliot) and Russia collide along the Silk Road - Russia's Pyotr Koslov finds Khara-Khoto - Harvard recruits Stein - Sir Aurel ignores warnings about New China - The fourth expedition's hapless finale - A death in Kabul, at the home of the U.S. Minister, Cornelius Engert (1943)

Chapter Sixteen: First Encounters of an American Kind

William Woodville Rockhill: diplomat, scholar, explorer and America's original China hand - He graduates from St. Cyr, serves in the Foreign Legion, ranches in New Mexico and studies Tibetan - He becomes Second Secretary in Peking - Rockhill's two Tibetan forays for the Smithsonian - Named as aide to Secretary of State John Hay - How the Open Door came about (1900) - Rockhill, as Theodore Roosevelt's envoy in Peking, befriends Thirteenth Dalai Lama - The road not taken

Chapter Seventeen: On the Playing Fields of Lhasa

"Play up! Play up! And play the game!" - Sir Henry Newbolt's lines and the Clifton schoolboy code - The Great War and its imperial toll - Two frontiersmen, F.M. ("Hatter") Bailey and Sir Charles Bell, - and the Tibetan dilemma - The failed Simla Conference - Bell's Tibetan mission (1920) - An American interloper, W.M. McGovern, reaches Lhasa - Were the British behind "the tom foolery on the part of Laden La, and others in Lhasa in 1924"?

Chapter Eighteen: The "Shambhala Project"

Russia's defeat by Japan (1905-06) abets rise of esoteric cults in St. Petersburg - Nicholas Roerich, artist and mystic - His triumphs for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes - He flees Bolshevik Petrograd, with wife and two sons - Roerich wins American backing for his Central Asian expedition - Via India to Mongolia - An undisclosed detour to Soviet Union - Tsarong ShapŽ bars party's progress, at Bailey's behest - Bailey entertains Roerichs at Gangtok (1928)

Chapter Nineteen: The Guru

The "Dear Guru" letters surface in 1948 - Henry Wallace refuses comment - His mystical streak, his devotion to Roerich - "The Plan" - Roerich leads Department of Agriculture mission to Asia (1934) - Quarrels with civil servants in Manchuria - Wallace backs Roerich - Approaches Mongolia, with Cossack escort - Wallace reconsiders, disowns Roerich - HAW becomes FDR's running mate (1940) - The Republicans acquire "Guru Letters" - FDR's counterstrokes - Roerich's death, and rehabilitation

Chapter Twenty - The Cousins Discover Tibet

Suydam Cutting, Kermit and Theodore Roosevelt Jr, explore Asia - Cutting stalks bigger game: Lhasa - Dachshunds for the Dalai Lama - "The Room" - An American is welcomed in Tibet (1935) - A Briton dies - Cutting returns to Lhasa with his wife, Helen (1937) - The outbreak of World War II - Franklin D. Roosevelt seeks a spy service - Churchill looks to the cousins - The rise of Donovan and the OSS

Chapter Twenty-One - Swastikas to Lhasa

Hitler (successfully) courts Hedin - He opens the Nazi Olympics -Heinrich Himmler, the occult and Tibet's "Aryans" - Ernst Schëfer leads SS mission to Lhasa - Himmler overcomes British objections - Schëfer is invited to Lhasa (1938-39) - His feuds with Hugh Richardson - He tries to adopt his Nepalese interpreter - He wins Death's Head Ring from Himmler - Botched Nazi plans in Afghanistan - Hedin lends his name to an SS research - Central Asian prisoners are gassed, their skulls measured - The fate of Hedin, and his maps

Chapter Twenty-Two: High Mischief

The unreported siege at Peterson Field, Colorado (1961) - The origins of the CIA's Tibetan operation - The forerunners: Ilia Tolstoy and Brooke Dolan - Tolstoy's love of horses - He fights with the Whites against the Reds - Dolan's early years as an Asian explorer - The first expedition with Ernst Schëfer (1931-32) - Back in Tibetan borderlands (1934-35) - Dolan's heroic trek - He joins the Army Air Force after Pearl Harbor - Donovan approves the Tolstoy-Dolan mission to Lhasa (1942-43) - A signed FDR photo for the young Fourteenth Dalai Lama - A peace conference set is proposed - Return to the Chinese labyrinth - Dolan joins U.S. Military Observer Group in Yenan - He rescues U.S. fliers - His death (1945) - China invades Tibet - The CIA's FitzGerald promotes training of Tibetan guerrillas - Airdrops from Nepal - After opening to China, U.S. ends political support for Tibet (1974)

Epilogue: The Owl of Minerva

Lunch with H.V. Hodson at the Reform Club - The origins of Washington's strategic ties with Pakistan - The role of Sir Olaf Caroe in defining India's North-East Frontier - Nehru's adoption of the McMahon Line and claim to Aksai Chin - India's China War (1962) and its results - Sir Halford Mackinder defines the Heartland (1904) - The concept is embraced by America's James Burnham (1947) - The Central Intelligence Agency as heir to the Raj's secret service - The limits of Stalin's realism - Envoi

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