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I was recommended to read this book by a friend who once drove overland to Australia in the 1960's, when it was more straightforward than now. He had also once met Peter Hopkirk. This book introduced me to an area of history that I knew very little of hitherto. It tells the story of the efforts of westerners to gain access to Llasa for a variety of reasons - and it was not that long ago. a fascinating read.
Peter Hopkirk is a natural storyteller. I first read his book 'The Great Game' recently published by the Folio Society and was hooked. I have always been interested in the history of the British Empire and the geo-politics of the 19th century. Having recently been to the Himalayas and seen the beauty, harshness and remoteness of this land I can understand how the intrepid 'explorers/adventurers' were obsessed in being the first to get to Lhasa. For the non academic history lover this is an excellent and informative read from an author who has a seems to have a love for Central Asia. Thoroughly recommend this book.
Historian, explorer, military historian or who ever - for anyone with a sense of right and wrong and a sense of adventure (couch or actual) and for those who enjoy cloak without dagger (but still bloodthirsty) tales of yore this amazing compilation of accounts contains such excitement and moves at such pace, the reader won't want to put it down. The need for a country's inviolation and the need of those who must violate. Factual pathos with a modicum of humour but plenty on the edge of the seat.
The third of Mr Hopkirk's books I have read, all of them of excellent quality in writing and information provided. With regard to this volume it gives an insight what people will endure to either be first or to spread religion or politics . it also gives an interesting insight and in depth background into Tibet and it' past and current problems.
I knew next to nothing about Tibet and it's history, this book is a great read, entertaining and informative. Full of interesting anecdotes, boy's own style adventures and tragic human stories. A highly recommended read.
Once again I thoroughly enjoyed this well researched and fascinating book by Peter Hopkirk. It's the third of his books that I have read recently since returning from a trip to Central Asia. I started with the 'Great Game' and followed that with 'Foreign Devils on the Silk Road.' These three books have all been excellent. They are well written in a way that is really exciting and the books are hard to put down as what they describe is really amazing and gripping. I can't recommend this author highly enough.
If you have read any work by Peter Hopkirk then you know what to expect. Expect a strong story line, interesting details, withering insights and a slightly rushed ending. Hopkirk has mined the stories of the Silk Road, The Great Game, the race to Lhasa and these are immensely interesting and easily readable.