Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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
Under the banner of a Holy War, masterminded in Berlin and unleashed from Constantinople, the Germans and the Turks set out in 1914 to foment violent revolutionary uprisings against the British in India and the Russians in Central Asia. It was a new and more sinister version of the old Great Game, with world domination as its ultimate aim. As the storm clouds of the First World War loomed, German hawks dreamed of driving the British out of India and creating a vast new Teutonic empire in the East, using their Turkish ally as a springboard. At the same time, Turkey's leaders aimed to free the Muslim peoples of Central Asia from the Tsarist yoke - and rule them themselves as part of a great new Ottoman empire. The shadowy - and often bloody - struggle that followed was fought out between the intelligence services of King, Kaiser, Sultan, and Tsar. It was to spill over into Persia, Afghanistan, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, and to be felt as far afield as the United States and China. Here, told in epic detail and for the first time, is the extraordinary story of the Turco-German jihad of the First World War, recounted through the adventures and misadventures of the secret agents and others who took part in it. Pieced together from the secret intelligence reports of the day and the long-forgotten memoirs of the participants, Peter Hopkirk's latest narrative is an enthralling sequel to the acclaimed The Great Game, and his three earlier works set in Central Asia. It is also highly topical in view of recent events in this volatile region where the Great Game has never really ceased. The rise of Islamic fundamentalism and fears of a resurgent Russia and a reunified Germany add greatly to thesignificance of this epic tale.
About 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.