The former Soviet republics of Central Asia comprise a sprawling, politically pivotal, and richly cultured area of the world. Given the strategic location of this region, its predominantly Muslim population, and its valuable resources, it is not surprising that this vast expanse of Eurasia is emerging as an influential and coveted area. For India, which has deep cultural and historical links with the region-Babur, incidentally, was from Central Asia-this is an intriguing, fascinating and educative look at a part of the world that is of great importance to it. Since their political inception during the rule of Joseph Stalin, these countries have experienced tremendous socio-political change. The growth of oil wealth, the arrival of Western tourists and businessmen, and the scramble for influence by the US, China and Russia, have altered their economic and political landscape. Despite this, the spirit of Central Asia has remained untouched at its core. In this comprehensive, up-to-date survey, renowned political writer and historian Dilip Hiro offers an account that places the present-day politics, economics and peoples of Central Asia and neighboring Turkey and Iran in an international context. It is a detailed portrait of a region which has, throughout history, influenced and been influenced by India.