Conjuring images of nomadic horsemen, spectacular monuments, breathtaking scenery and crippling poverty, Central Asia remains an enigma. Home to the descendants of Jenghiz Khan’s Great Horde, in the nineteenth century the once powerful Silk Road states became a pawn in the ‘Great Game’ of expansion and espionage between Britain and Russia, disappearing behind what would become known as the ‘Iron Curtain’. With the collapse of the USSR, the nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were born. Since independence, Central Asia has seen one civil war, two revolutions and eight dictators.
An insightful mix of travel, history and reportage, in Does it Yurt? journalist Stephen M. Bland takes the reader on a voyage of discovery. Travelling to a desert sea, a collapsed Russian gas rig daubed the ‘Gate to Hell’ and along the ‘Heroin highway’ atop the roof of the world, the author sets out to explore these lands, unearthing the stories of the people and places behind this fascinating region.
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