Central Asia in World History

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2/2/2011
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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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, and focusing largely on the unique melting pot of cultures that this region has produced. Golden describes the traders who braved the heat and cold along caravan routes to link East Asia and Europe; the Mongol Empire of Genghis 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.

Author Biography

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

Table of Contents

Editors' Prefacep. ix
Introduction: A Layering of Peoplesp. 1
The Rise of Nomadism and Oasis City-Statesp. 9
The Early Nomads: ôWarfare is Their Businessöp. 21
Heavenly Qaghans: The Türks and Their Successorsp. 35
The Cities of the Silk Road and the Coming of Islamp. 50
Crescent over the Steppe: Islam and the Turkic Peoplesp. 63
The Mongol Whirlwindp. 76
The Later Chinggisids, Temür, and the Timurid Renaissancep. 91
The Age of Gunpowder and the Crush of Empiresp. 105
The Problems of Modernityp. 122
Pronunciation Guidep. 141
Chronologyp. 142
Notesp. 147
Further Readingp. 159
Websitesp. 163
Acknowledgmentsp. 165
Indexp. 167
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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