The "Great Game" of rivalry and intrigue between the great powers in Southwest Asia and between the regional powers themselves is explored in Miron Rezun's comprehensive history of the region. The author traces the involvement of the Soviet Union, Britain, Germany, and the United States in the "game of influence" in the region, giving us a vivid account of what happens behind the scenes in diplomatic circles, behind closed doors, and the characteristics of the power struggle between charismatic or despotic leaders, foreign intervention, and the oppressed citizenry. The story touches on current concerns such as the international arms trade, fervent nationalism, and the subterfuge, greed, and ambition that emerge when ego and money are at stake. This examination of events in Iran and Iraq, the rebellion of the Kurds, and movements in Afghanistan and Azerbaijan revolves around nationalistic aspirations of a fanatical kind. Ultimately the book seeks to explain the causes of war in the region. The book begins with a brief yet thorough history of the Southwest Asia region, from the time of Tsar Peter through the Persian Gulf War. Chapter 2 describes an early nationalist rebellion in Turkistan and its ultimate defeat by Russia, and uses this early rebellion as a model for the Soviet Union's thinking towards the region. Chapter 3 is a detailed history of the struggle in Afghanistan. Chapter 4 looks at the turbulent history of Iran, linking Iran's behavior to the history of the entire region. Chapter 5 focuses on Central Asia and Azerbaijan. The influence of "Great Game" thinking in the current movement of pan-Arabism and the New Babylon is discussed in Chapter 6, while the next chapter examinesIraq and Saddam Hussein, the Persian Gulf War, and its aftermath. This study will be of interest to students, scholars, and the reader who wants to learn about the history of this troubled region.