I was looking for background reading on Central Asia on a recent trip there and came across Dilip Hiro's Inside Central Asia (2009). I had previously read his account of Iran, The Iranian Labyrinth, and was impressed with his research and narrative acumen. This book reflects his knack for explaining complex historical narratives and giving a sense of how the region has evolved over the last century. The introduction sets the historical context of Central Asia most well-known for the dominance of Genghis Khan and up to the rise and fall of the Soviet Union that had a major impact on modern day Central Asia. My first stop on my trip was Istanbul which coincided with the first chapter, "Turkey: From Militant Secularism to Grassroots Islam." I had also been reading Tom Bissell's memoir/travelogue of Uzbekistan, Chasing the Sea, so the next chapter, "Uzbekistan: The Complex Hub of Central Asia," expanded on a lot of the history that was introduced in Bissell's book. This was followed by "Turkmenistan: Molded by a Megalomaniac," which gave much insight into one of the lesser known Central Asian states. Chapter 4-"Kazakhstan: Rising Oil State Corrupted by Big Powers," tells the story of Central Asia's plight against corruption from within as well as from outside. Chapter 5-"Kyrgyzstan: The Tulip Revolution,a False Dawn," was of particular interest, since it was my second destination on the recent Central Asian trip-also my second visit. Another obscure nation is analyzed in Chapter 6-"Tajikistan: The Rise and Fall of Political Islam." The final chapter is, "Iran: The Geopolitics of the Islamic Revolution." Hiro pulls it altogether in the last two sections: "Summary and Conclusions" and "Epilogue." Another well researched look at a fascinating region.