Readers will discover through this six-volume work cultures that flourished and vanished from the dawn of civilization to the present time and how the history of the ancient and medieval world was shaped by the movements of peoples in this heartland of Eurasia, stretching from the Caspian Sea to the borders of China.
The sixth volume brings this series to an end as it takes in the whole of the modern period from colonial conquest and domination to decolonization; the Cold War from start to finish; the disintegration of the Soviet Union; and the renewed instability in certain areas.
Not only did the colonial regimes lay a new patina over the region, but nationalism remoulded all old identities into a series of new ones. That process of the twentieth century was perhaps the most transformative of all after the colonial subjugation of the nineteenth. While it has been the basis of remarkable stability in vast stretches of the region, it has been a fertile source of tension and even wars in other parts. The impact and the results of such changes have been astonishingly variable despite the proximity of these states to each other and their being subject to, or driven, by virtually the same compulsions.