The New Great Game by Lutz Kleveman
Blood and Oil in Central Asia

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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 innocent civilians, with the war in Iraq being only the latest example. In The New Great Game, Lutz Kleveman gives us a fearless, insightful, and exacting portrait of a new battleground in the violent politics and passion of oil: Central Asia, known as the “black hole of the earth” for much of the last century. The Caspian Sea contains the world’s largest amount of untapped oil and gas resources. It is estimated that there might be as much as 100 billion barrels of crude oil in the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan alone.

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 West–style 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.

About Lutz Kleveman

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LUTZ KLEVEMAN was born in Germany and studied at the London School of Economics. He has reported from war zones for the Daily Telegraph, Newsweek, and the Sunday Telegraph, as well as CNN.
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove Press. 308 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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After tagging along with Daily Telegraph correspondent Kleveman on this vivid, well-narrated spin through the oil-rich Caspian region, anyone who believed that the recent American invasion of Iraq was about countering terrorism might want to reconsider.

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Publishers Weekly

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Kleveman, who readily admits his conviction that the recent war in Iraq was motivated by the interests of Houston oilmen, similarly treats the war on terrorism as little more than a pretext for the presence of U.S. troops in the region to secure oil interests and pipeline routes.

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The Sunday Times

Atlantic £16.99 pp287 In 1990, the historian Peter Hopkirk published The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia, a gripping book about the clandestine 19th-century cold war between the great powers for control over the uncharted plains and mountains of Central Asia.

Oct 19 2003 | Read Full Review of The New Great Game: Blood and...

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