This book begins by describing the decline of Safavid Persia by the end of the seventeenth century. Harsh treatment of Sunni subjects on Persia's western frontier encouraged Turkish aggression in the first decades of the eighteenth century. However, in the end it was Afghani tribesmen, nominal subjects of the shah, whose rebellions finally brought down the Safavid Dynasty. The Afghanis, strong as they were, soon lost power to a defender of the Safavids recruited from the ranks of the nomadic Afshar Turkmen of northeast Persia. One of Asia's greatest warriors since Timur, he would call himself Nadir Shah. From his first campaigns in 1726, while still a subaltern, to his assassination in 1747, Nadir terrorized and dominated a considerable portion of South and southwestern Asia.
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