Setting the East Ablaze: On Secret Service in Bolshevik Asia

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 2001 - Asia, Central - 252 pages
Peter Hopkirk's book tells for the first time the story of the Bolshevik attempt between the wars to set the East ablaze with the new gospel of Marxism. Lenin's dream was to liberate the whole of Asia, but his starting point was British India. A shadowy, undeclared war followed.Among the players in this new Great Game were British Indian intelligence officers and the professional revolutionaries of the Communist International. There were also Muslim visionaries and Chinese warlords - as well as a White Russian baron who roasted his Bolshevik captives alive.Here is an extraordinary tale of intrigue and treachery, barbarism and civil war, whose echoes continue to be heard in Central Asia today.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nandadevi - LibraryThing

Hopkirk's special expertise is the history of that not very well known, but hugely significant, territory of Western China and Central Asia. Hopkirk tells the story in this and two previous books, of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jontseng - LibraryThing

Notable for including the exploits of Col F. M. Bailey (see also Mission To Tashkent). A spy so deceptive that the Bolsheviks hired him to hunt for himself! Read full review


An Absolutely FirstClass Man
The Strange Adventures of a Butterfly Collector
Bailey Vanishes
The Executioner
Bailey Joins the Soviet Secret Service
To Set the East Ablaze
The Last Stand of Enver Pasha
Curzons Ultimatum
Squeezed Out Like a Lemon
Skulduggery on the Silk Road
A Lady Vanishes
The Last of the Central Asian Dreamers
The New BogyMen of the East
The East Fails to Ignite

The Army of God
The Bloody Baron
An Avenue of Gallows

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

Peter Hopkirk has travelled widely over many years in the regions where his six books are set - Central Asia, the Caucasus, China, India and Pakistan, Iran, and Eastern Turkey. Before turning full-time author, he was an ITN reporter and newscaster for two years, the New York correspondent ofthe Daily Express, and worked for nearly twenty years on The Times: five as its chief reporter, and latterly as a Middle and Far East specialist. In the 1950s he edited the West African news magazine Drum, sister-paper to its legendary South African namesake. Before entering Fleet Street he servedas a subaltern in the King's African Rifles - in the same battalion as lance-corporal Idi AMin, later to emerge as the Ugandan tyrant. No stranger to misadventure, Hopkirk has twice beeen held in secret police cells - in Cuba and the Middle East - and has also been hijacked by Arab terrorists. Hisworks have been translated into thirteen languages.

Bibliographic information