The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia
By Peter Hopkirk, translated into Korean by Chong Young-mok
Published by Kodansha Globe in 1992, Korean translation by Sakyejul Publishing in 2008
In the early 19th century, Victorian Britain and Tsarist Russia finally defeated Napoleon. The triumphant Russia attempted to advance into Central Asia, but Britain could not allow it, as it feared Russian threats to the British rule of India in the future. Hence, conflicts between Britain and Russia were inevitable.
The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia deals with competitions and conflicts in the 19th and 20th century, waged by the world’s two most powerful imperialist nations over nearly a hundred years. Peter Hopkirk graphically renders the fundamental reasons of the Russo-British conflicts, regional political situations, and international politics by tracing the paths of people who took part in the “Great Game” out of patriotism, or for personal success or adventure.
A century has passed, but the “Great Game” over Central Asia still continues in new forms. Afghanistan, the strategic point where Britain and Russia clashed, has suffered Soviet invasion and is now warring with the United States. In other parts of Central Asia, the United States, Russia, China, and neighboring countries engage in heated competitions for resources and influence. History repeats. The methods of the game may have evolved, but its nature may not have changed at all.
Written by Moon Sung-ki, KF Chief Auditor
Next month’s “KF Culture Walk” will be written by Jeong Eun-sil, assistant director of the Invitation and Fellowship Department.