The Russians in Central Asia: Their Occupation of the Kirghiz Steppe and the Line of the Syr-Daria : Their Political Relations with Khiva, Bokhara, and Kokan : Also Descriptions of Chinese Turkestan and Dzungaria; by Capt. Valikhanof, M. Veniukof and [others] (Google eBook)
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The book 'Russians in Central Asia' is mainly an account of travels of Capt. Chokan Chingisovich Valikhanov and others who were officially sent by the Russian Government to study all details about Central Asia. It was necessary before any advance was made into the territory. In fact, European powers had started expanding and colonising lands beyond their limits. Britain and Spain in paticular were on colonising spree. Russia was conscious that Britian may expand its influence beyond India and Afghanistan to Central Asia and eventually become a threat to Russia, To forestall this design, it was essential that Russia expands eastward. The travellers did their job in an exceedingly nice manner. They studied geography, as well as the political situation prevailing in the area in full detail. The book gives excellent account of the people, their faith, habits, social institutions, military strength and the political situation. In addition, the book gives the progress of Russian advance in the area and its gradual subjugation. It is worth reading for understanding the obscure area and its people.