am 30. April 1999
A nice followup read to "The Great Game" (also by Hopkirk), this book details the efforts between the World Wars by the Soviet Union to spread Marxism to the east. Like The Great Game, there are dashing adventurers, wily spies, lunatics, and odd characters aplenty. There are some great individual stories, such as the British agent who the Soviets hired to find himself, and several crackpots with serious delusions of grandeur. What really emerges is how tenuous Moscow's hold was on its further-flung regions, as Bolsheviks, White Russians, and native people vied for control of these regions. Ultimately, the books is less cohesive and thus less satisfying than "The Great Game" (and about half the size!).
am 19. Oktober 2014
This book should be read together with "On secret Service east of Constantinople", because it deals partly with
the same historic time, the first WW and the subsequent Russian policy. The actual events of the Russian infiltration
to Ukraine can be compared to the Russian infiltrations into China after WW I (soldiers without rank symbols, airplanes without
national signs etc.) So, we should be aware, that the Russian policy has not really changed since Tsarist times.
am 20. Februar 1999
The man who gave us "The Great Game" now takes us 20 or so years forward, to the era after the Russian Revolution when Lenin send his followers into Asia to spread his word. It is a dramatic, sometimes tragic, sometimes comic narrative, full of extraordinary people, most memorable of which may be Colonel Reginald Bailey, a very British spy whose disguise as a fanatical revolutionary was so successful that he was once ordered by his Communist masters to arrest himself! Anybody with an interest in history, in travel, in adventure or just in good storytelling should try to seek out Hopkirk's splendid books.