It was disappointing to get this book. I am from Central Asia originally, and I've started collecting books about its history and art so I can share and pass on some aspects of my heritage to my kids. For a history of the entire region, it's an extremely small and thin book. Just writing about Genghis Khan alone would be a heftier tome, and this is supposed to include more prominent figures and far longer timeline. Certainly not worth the price - considering the number of pages and amount of information, it turns out quite costly! I can't help thinking it was just Peter Golden's PhD thesis, that he turned around and decided to publish as a book. The only plus I can point out at the moment is that it's written in an easy to read language, not too dense and boring as some thesis work may be. So if you just want a high-level big brush-stroke type of introduction to Central Asian history, this may just work for you.
I bought this book as I will be visiting the Central Asia soon, and I am a self confessed history addict.
It is a good summary that covers a huge region over an equally huge amount of time. There is a useful Chronology at the back, and the chapters are logically based. There are a few maps within the book however a few more would have been useful. At times, for the uninitiated such as me, it can become a little confusing as you jump from one ruler to the next with their various tribal links and inter-links. Read in in small sections helps! In conclusion I am better informed than I was, and that was the purpose of buying the book!
I have only read the first chapter but it is what I had been looking for. There are very few books covering early history of Central Europe and always covering a limited region/period or specific topic (eg. the Silk road, Great Game). This covers from approx. 1000 BC to the last century giving a very comprehensive history of the region from the Middle East to the Chinese border. It is a region with a complicated history. It is easy to read though some might find it too detailed. Written with a modern view of history the history of nations/tribes and not of rulers [why I hated history at school!]