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Keans A.H. Asia: Vol. II. Southern and Western Asia

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Keans A.H. Asia: Vol. II. Southern and Western Asia
London: Edward Stanford, 1909. — 548 p. — (Stanford’s Compendium of Geography and Travel).
During the second half of the IXX century the African Continent may be said to have enjoyed a monopoly of public interest. So rapid and marvellous have been the developments, both geographical and political, witnessed in that region, that it almost needed the Armenian atrocities to recall attention to the scarcely less thrilling and in some respects even more important events that have taken place in the neighbouring continent of Asia since the appearance of the first edition of this work in 1882. In less than two decades, geographical and political movements have yielded such an abundance of fresh materials as to require the expansion of that bulky volume of over 750 pages into two of about 550 pages each for the new issue of this series. Those who have not followed the progress of recent geographical research in Asia will have some difficulty in realizing the vast amount of work accomplished in this direction by a class of explorers distinguished beyond most of the African pioneers by a more scientific training and a more thorough equipment for their arduous labours. That so much should still remain to be done in a region occupied from remote times mainly by Caucasic and Mongolic peoples far removed from the savage state may perhaps cause some surprise. But it should be remembered that a great part of the Asiatic plateaux and highlands are not only the loftiest on the globe, but are also of extremely difficult access. Vast spaces are, moreover, occupied by almost impassable deserts, which may be regarded as an extension of the rainless Saharan zone through Arabia, Persia, Turkestan, and Mongolia, athwart the Asiatic mainland nearly to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Progress has also been retarded by the absence of highways in arid regions sparsely peopled by lawless nomad tribes. To these natural obstacles have in many places been added the more formidable obstructions of political barriers, which have been but lately broken down in Japan, Korea, and the interior of China, but which are still upheld in Tibet.
Afghanistan and Baluchistan (Kabul and Kelat).
The Indian Empire.
Indo-China and Malacca.
Asia Minor.
The Euphrates and Tigris Basin Armenia, Kurdistan, Mesopotamia.
Syria and Palestine.
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