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The New Great Game

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  160 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
A fearless, insightful, and exacting portrait of the battle for oil, and the international struggle for wealth and power in the new century.

Crude oil, once seen as a wealth-creating blessing for mankind, is fast turning into the "devil's tears." The struggle to control the world's remaining energy reserves increasingly culminates in bloody conflicts and the killing of inno

Published (first published September 1st 2003)
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Oct 17, 2009 AC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is really a great book. I've read half of it now -- quick, fast-paced, the author (a young German resource-war journalist) traveled by car and other means, from Baku to Georgia, Astana, into Xinjiang, Iran, Afghanistan, in search of the politics of pipelines -- and simply recounts all the things he saw and people he spoke to. Illuminating and fun.

The book is about 4 years old, and there are a few points (but only a few) where events have either confirmed (Georgia) or confuted (Kashagan, wh
Andrew Katen
Feb 06, 2016 Andrew Katen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding reporting of the reemergence of a centuries old "Great Game" played for political supremacy of Central Asia. While in the past this competition was waged between Great Britain and Imperial Russia over invasion routes to India, today's contest involves access to fossil fuel resources and associated transport corridors. Kleveman tells the stories of the "stans" -- the former Soviet Republics that are finding their way as independent countries, but which are still held in the orbit of t ...more
Yatin Patel
Jun 17, 2015 Yatin Patel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stoddart and Conolly were beheaded in 1842 in Bukhara and Kipling echoed the shudders of the empire in 1901 in his significant opus “Kim” in form of the “Great Game”. Well, nothing has changed but players who played it. Kleveman’s book is one of the best commentaries on the canvas that stretches from Ceyhan in Turkey to Urumki in Xinjiang. The book has it all; Spellbinding accounts of pipeline diplomacy, tooth and nail battles of benefitting from the geostrategic locations, ideologies mingling w ...more
Muhammad Azwar Khan
Nicely explains the events which shaped the new Geopolitics in Asia. Oil in Central Asia has played a vital role in attracting America towards this region; invasion of Afghanistan was a part of it. This is the game where every player is trying its best to gain maximum profit. This book reflects that Central Asian states' hydrocarbon reserves have significant importance till date specially in the wake of depleting petroleum reserves of Saudi Arabia and other Oil producing countries; to tackle fut ...more
Paul DeBusschere
This is a rambling, and somewhat dated, survey of what is (was?) happening in each of the countries in the Central Asian region. Kleveman writes just like a reporter on assignment, so the book reads like newspaper story and tends to jump around, somewhat searching for thematic focus in each chapter. Overall, however, the theme is very clear - oil is the driving force in the geo-political machinations of today's most powerful countries.

The book fails with Kleveman's overt focus on the United Stat
Jul 07, 2013 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While dated (this book was first published in 2004) a lot of the dynamics of the region date back to the Cold War and that history has not and will not change. One of my favorite aspects of the narrative was its fairness to all players; in other words the author did not hold back on pointing out the ludicrous actions of any and all actors in the region when the circumstances called for it.

What also helped the book move along and not feel slow was the narrative way in which the author wrote it. O
Mar 08, 2014 Vineet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well researched topic. I liked the conclusion that the author gave. In the light of present situation in Ukraine and Crimea the topic holds a lot of significance. The book though is a bit old in for the fast developing situation. However the fundamentals haven't changed. Overall a must read book for all interested in the topic.
May 19, 2008 Shawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent primer on modern day Central Asian politics. Another layer that requires further study if one follows the subject, is the clan structures of the various ethnicities and their influence on internal politics. And if one does closely follow Central Asian affairs, one gets the feeling this book is already outdated. Alliances shift as every nation from the Caspian sea to China's western frontier try to play the Superpowers each against each other for pipeline deals. I also recommend Dani ...more
Apr 14, 2016 Saqib rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crash course on geopolitics in Central Asia and Eurasia.
May 17, 2007 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short, but unexpectedly good work of journalism about oil and the peoples of Central Asia. Klevemann may sort of overplay his master narrative about the importance of Central Asian oil at times, but I don't think very much in the case of the U.S., Iran, and China. Helped me to understand the squabbles that the U.S. had with Uzbekistan over the past two years, despite the regime's egregious human rights violations. Haunting how we seem to be returning to the stage of the first "Great Game." It' ...more
Tim P
Jan 08, 2009 Tim P rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very cool to see how the 18th and 19th century "Great Game" is back and alive run not by governments, but by corporations. A rare political look into some countries that just never seem to make it onto CNN. This is almost the new Cold War as Russia and the US jockey for control of oil pipelines.

My favorite part: A whole chapter ends with the sentiment "But this is all for not if Russia ever invades the South Ossetia region." WOW. Talk about timely.
Aug 02, 2007 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Central Asia, Cacuses, Iran area.
One of the most informative books on the region as it stands today, that I've read. And I've read A LOT of books on central asia. The author puts himself in some interesting places that cause you to see how the world works for the people who live here, and make you understand. It was very interesting reading up on Iran in this way.
I think that he was able to get the access he did was because he was German.
May 28, 2009 Berrygraham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-events
good intro to the importance of central asia and its vast oil resources. some of the information is dated. Wars by proxy for oil will make some people very rich and most very dead in this area of the world. This book made central asia look like the american west in the late 19th century; the meek and mild need not apply.
Feb 04, 2008 Guy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great insight into the geopolitics of the Capian Oil region which explores the impact of the foreign policies of Washington and Moscow, the interests of the major oil companies versus the state oil companies and the impact on the peoples of the various former Soviet republics.
Amber Buchholz
Aug 22, 2008 Amber Buchholz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amber by: Sebastian
Essential reading if you want to understand what is happening between Russia and Georgia today. Sebastian gave this book to me when I came to visit him in Baku, and I read it on a park bench next to the Caspian Sea, breathing air thick with the smell of petroleum...
Jul 07, 2010 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
well, this was just great. If you don't take notes, you have one really cool road trip. And I suggest you don't, there's better sources out there (ones that actually care to reference).

best way into the problematic, makes you feel the urgency
Aug 24, 2011 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The information is somewhat dated now, but the book is well written and informative. And in case you thought Afghanistan was about terrorism and Iraq about WMD.... think oil."
Feb 14, 2010 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Middling writing but enlightening material for what REALLY drives those obscure Central Asian and Caucasus countries - and all the first-world countries who try to court them.
Nov 06, 2007 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want to understand the world, you have to know what's going on in Central Asia. This book will help you get there.
Interesting facts, could be more insightful and better parts somehow incoherent
Jan 21, 2008 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good book on hte history of oil and the politics that evolved because of it
Dec 04, 2015 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great-game
Dated material for 2014
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