The Silk Road

In This Review

The Silk Road

By Jan Myrdal
Pantheon, 1980
292 pp. $15.00
Purchase

A timely and vivid narrative of a trip through the "pivot of Asia"-the Chinese Pamirs where China meets Russian Central Asia and Afghanistan. Myrdal believes that Russia is still playing "the Great Game" for Asia but that the United States is leaving the table. He sees great continuity in Russian policy: "What is so striking as you travel through what formerly was known as East Turkestan is that Russian policy has been consistent since the days of Peter the Great. Now and then a forced halt; once or twice a diplomatic-and even . . . a military-retreat; but then after some decades a new thrust forward." Despite the author's unqualified enthusiasm for the new China, an enthusiasm which flaws some of his analysis, there are valuable insights into the historical background of the cold war in Asia between Russia and China.