In the veins of the men of Tataristan courses the blood of Mongol, Hun, Macedonian and Chinese...the fanaticism of Saladin's and Tamerlane's Islam, and a rich heritage of Chinese wile.This is the land and these are the countrymen of Ahmad Kamal's ancestors. A Muslim of Tartar stock, Mr. Kamal was born in America. His great-grandfather fought against the Russians in Central Asia. More than a century later, his American descendant returned to renew the battle in the 1930s. Kamal entered Turkestan through India and Tibet, crossing in mid-winter the most formidable frontier in the world, the Himalayan passes. The account of this journey --under constant threat of extinction from falling avalanches of snow--begins a series of almost incredibly hazardous adventures, told with an authenticity that unrolls the whole richly colored tapestry of a strange, feudal, and barbaric land, the Land Without Laughter.