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Central Asia in World History (New Oxford World History) [Kindle Edition]

Peter B. Golden
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A vast region stretching roughly from the Volga River to Manchuria and the northern Chinese borderlands, Central Asia has been called the "pivot of history," a land where nomadic invaders and Silk Road traders changed the destinies of states that ringed its borders, including pre-modern Europe, the Middle East, and China. In Central Asia in World History, Peter B. Golden provides an engaging account of this important region, ranging from prehistory to the present, focusing largely on the unique melting pot of cultures that this region has produced over millennia. Golden describes the traders who braved the heat and cold along caravan routes to link East Asia and Europe; the Mongol Empire of Chinggis Khan and his successors, the largest contiguous land empire in history; the invention of gunpowder, which allowed the great sedentary empires to overcome the horse-based nomads; the power struggles of Russia and China, and later Russia and Britain, for control of the area. Finally, he discusses the region today, a key area that neighbors such geopolitical hot spots as Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China.

Editorial Reviews


This concise but comprehensive textbook outlines the transformation of Central Asia from prehistory to the collapse of the USSR. ... The scope is ambitious ... the book is chronologically, spatially, and thematically wide-ranging without sacrificing the level of detail in the narrative. Jagjeet Lally, Journal of Global History

About the Author

Peter B. Golden is Professor Emeritus of History and Director of the Middle Eastern Studies Program, Rutgers University.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1674 KB
  • Print Length: 193 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0195159470
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (January 5, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004OVE1IS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,574 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Broad sweep into the history & culture of Central Asia September 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This history is broad and enlightening while being short enough for a quick read. True to its introduction, it does indeed describe the role of this large, but poorly understood region, in the development of world trade (e.g., the Silk Road), military technology (e.g., the composite bow) and modern nations (e.g., Turkey and the Stans). The history is authoritative naming leaders, tribes and cities with extensive notes for further study. Nevertheless, given the strangeness of the names and remoteness of the places cited, the book could be improved significantly with one or more maps per chapter to chart the ebb and flow of the competing peoples.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quick introduction. August 23, 2011
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If you're looking for a comprehensive, detailed and exhaustive survey; look elsewhere. However this book does provide the general reader a nice introduction to the historical topics of the region.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
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This book is an introduction to the world of Central Asia,
It explains the domination of central asia by Iranian Speaking Peoples and their replacement and absorption in the medieval times by Turkic Speakers. However the book offers more than that and it gives a political narrative as well as cultural history of the region without tying it to one ethnic group or another; Which the author has succeded at.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thousands of years and miles in a nutshell October 22, 2013
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Absolutely outstanding synthesis of the complexity of tribal politics across Eurasian. I have read a lot on this subject and this is the most efficient exposition, covering Bronze age to contemporary history. Beautifully wriiten.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breif, dense, but readable May 23, 2014
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Central Asia is often overlooked in history - or told from the view point of outsiders and enemies. This book helps to remedy that problem by focusing on Central Asian history from the inside. The book is very short and easy to read through (139 pages of text). Some of the chronological historical chapters can be a bit dense (due to the huge amount of information packed therein). None of the subjects are treated in depth because the point of the book is to be an overview. If readers would like more depth, the book includes sufficient detail to know what to look for in monographs or more specific books (including names of leaders, tribes, cities, regions, and dates) but for readers unfamiliar with the region or wanting to read a solid introduction, this is the book. Central Asia in World History is a great entry into the history of central Asia and hopefully will inspire many people to learn more about this important region.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Central Asian history November 22, 2014
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I was essentially ignorant of the history in this part of the world. It bothered me. Now I feel I have a better grip on a very fascinating part of our planet's human history
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