Lowell Thomas was already kwn for his run of good luck. Back in 1916 the brash American reporter had been the first journalist to venture into the desolation of the Arabian deserts in search of the legendary Lawrence of Arabia. But w, with that story and the First World War behind him, Thomas was hungry again. He was looking for new adventures, new heroes and, most of all, new geographical challenges. He found them all in one country: Afghanistan! The Forbidden Kingdom, as it was popularly kwn in the 1920s, had turned her back on Europe and the West for several decades. Not to be put off, Thomas applied for a tourist visa, planning on writing a few articles about the colorful Pathan tribesmen who inhabited the desolate deserts of the south, and the secretive n-Muslim inhabitants of the mountaius rth of Afghanistan. In fact, Thomas saw neither. The Afghans were suspicious of strangers, especially an American journalist. They promptly denied him his request for access to the fortified mountain kingdom. What followed was a two-year cat-and-mouse game between the determined American and the reclusive Afghans. Eventually, in 1927, the government in Kabul did agree to let Thomas enter their country, but only, Thomas learned later, after Amir Amalluah Khan, the king of Afghanistan, had personally intervened on his behalf. This is Lowell's story of how he slipped past the infamous Khyber Pass, that door of stone which had refused to open for two years, and made his way into a kingdom which had remained unchanged for more than a thousand years. It is a bold story, filled with the people of remote Central Asia, and depicts this important cultural crossroads before it was forever changed by the wars of the late twentieth century.