My "The Great Game" Reading List


SOF Support
Sep 8, 2006
Pardus and I exchnaged PM's on this and I thought rather than send it to him, I could post it and one or two of you could get some mileage out of it. I've either read all of these, am reading them now, or will read them in the next month (They are on the shelf next to me).

The Great Game by Peter Hopkirk. Hopkirk is perhaps the most prolific writer on the Great Game and periods surrounding it. He's written an excellent book on the Pundits and their work mapping the Himalayas which I may check out early next year. This book is excellent with enough forest and tree details to make it interesting.

Tournament of Shadows by Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac. I'm reading this now, the paperback version is about 570 pages with another 40+ pages devoted to footnotes and sources. More forest-level than the first book, it also goes into more detail about some of the politics and players plus extends into the British conquest of Tibet in 1904 through the OSS' work in the region during WWII.

So, the 1000+ pages contained between those two books are well worth it.

Afghanistan, A Military History from Alexander the Great to the War Against the Talibanby Stephen Tanner. An excellent one over the world precisely about what the title suggests. It is a bit thin at 350 or so pages, but can be a much faster read then the previous two books.

Charles Masson of Afghanistan by Gordon Whitteridge. I just started this one, but won't finish it until vacation in 10 days (it is a travel book due to the small size). This guy is quite the character. The Wiki entry is very thin, but gives you an idea:

Kabul Catastrophe - The Retreat of 1842 by Patrick Macrory. I have not read this book yet, but the massacre of Elphinstone's Army and the First Anglo-Afghan War fascinates me for some reason.

It is a short list, but the first two books alone will keep you busy for some time.
Many thanks for this mate!

This is something that I too am fascinated with, particularly the massacre of Major General Elphinstone's Column.
The lessons of old need to be remembered and heeded, for our enemies haven't changed dramatically since the time of the British forays in the 1800's.
I have a new book to read. Thank you!

Eyre is quoted in "Kabul Catastrophe" and features in the sources for the other books above.

Damn you, Amazon.....