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     Robert J Wintercross
Dear Mr Kleveman,

I am writing to you to say how much I related to, enjoyed and valued your recent book, The New Great Game. I must confess my favourite passage was your eloquent description of Baku as an 'upmarket shit hole', a sentiment I would have to agree with, having recently returned from Baku on one of many visits to Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Yours, Robert J Wintercross
King's College, London

12.01.2006 - 17:15

     Jessica Harvey-Smith
Dear Lutz,

I just wanted to write and tell you how much I enjoyed 'The New Great Game'.

I am interested in contemporary politics but know very little about Central Asia. I had never realised how important developments in that region will be, you have really opened my eyes.

Thank you so much for taking the time and the risks involved in travelling to such difficult areas and for producing such a memorable and readable account of your journey.

Best of luck in all your future enterprises,

Jessica Harvey-Smith
Director, Debate Chamber, Oxford

11.01.2006 - 16:53

     Jahangir Rajah
Dear Lutz,

I believe your book is excellent, it has personally helped me in my continuous struggle to understand International Politics.

Kind regards, Jahangir Rajah

11.01.2006 - 16:48

     David Sellyn
Dear Lutz,

I'm on my way back from Atyrau, Kazakhstan for a Christmas break. I have just finished reading "The New Great Game" and I must say I enjoyed the book and pretty much sympathise with the politics. I think you'll find many other workers out there would agree with you too. I have read Peter Hopkirk and Robert Kaplan also. It is interesting to know about the history and geopolitics of the area where I'm working.

I do need to take issue with you concerning your particular comments about the Chagala Hotel and O'Neill's bar. There are no armed guards, no barbed wire fences and having been a customer there since its opening nobody's papers are checked and locals and ex-pats are treated alike. As for testosterone, tough guys and debauchery that's ludicrous. It is a place to go for a quiet beer and maybe to watch some live football. There's a good family spirit there, among mostly men a long way from home.

I think you have used excessive poetic licence here and it gives an
unnecessarily lurid impression to the unwary reader. I sincerely hope that
is not reflective of other chapters in an otherwise fascinating book.

All the best,

21.12.2005 - 18:40

     Greg Booth
Great game, great book!

I just finished The New Great Game and found it fascinating and frightening--and maybe a little disheartening for the average sheltered, naive American such as myself. I often wonder, though, if the U.S. could somehow be "the good guy" and still succeed in dealing with all the other players who seem equally (or more) self-serving, greedy and corrupt. Also, I was thinking of how working toward alternate forms of energy could possibly prevent a lot of the blood that has been and will be spilled over this oil. (I read another great book called The Hydrogen Economy which seemed very positive on technology like fuel cells and mentioned Iceland as an example of a country that is combining various technologies like geothermal and fuel cells to reduce its need for fossil fuels.) But ironically perhaps, making oil worthless might someday create different problems in areas that rely on it as their only source of income.

Thanks again. Greg Booth

10.12.2005 - 18:33

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