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Three Cups of Tea : One Man's Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations . . . One School at a Time
Greg Mortenson, David Oliver Relin
0670034827
March 2, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Some failures lead to phenomenal successes, and this American nurse's unsuccessful attempt to climb K2, the world's second tallest mountain, is one of them. Dangerously ill when he finished his climb in 1993, Mortenson was sheltered for seven weeks by the small Pakistani village of Korphe; in return, he promised to build the impoverished town's first school, a project that grew into the Central Asia Institute, which has since constructed more than 50 schools across rural Pakistan and Afghanistan. Coauthor Relin recounts Mortenson's efforts in fascinating detail, presenting compelling portraits of the village elders, con artists, philanthropists, mujahideen, Taliban officials, ambitious school girls and upright Muslims Mortenson met along the way. As the book moves into the post-9/11 world,...


Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001
Steve Coll
0143034669
January 2005
Paperback
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Book Review
Steve Coll's Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 offers revealing details of the CIA's involvement in the evolution of the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the years before the September 11 attacks. From the beginning, Coll shows how the CIA's on-again, off-again engagement with Afghanistan after the end of the Soviet war left officials at Langley with inadequate resources and intelligence to appreciate the emerging power of the Taliban. He also demonstrates how Afghanistan became a deadly playing field for international politics where Soviet, Pakistani, and U.S. agents armed and trained a succession of warring factions. At the same time, the book, though opinionated, is not solely a critique of the agency. Coll balances accounts of CIA failures with...


Afghanistan
Martin Ewans
0060505087
Sept 2002
Paperback
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From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Spanning a period from thousands of years B.C.E. through September 11, 2001, Ewans ambitiously covers an incredible scope of this country's history. While the writing is dry at times, the information goes a long way toward putting the nation's current situation in perspective. Events leading up to and during the Soviet invasion in the late '70s are especially intriguing, as is the explanation of the mujahadin's emergence. More than half the book dwells on 20th-century happenings, with quite a bit of fascinating detail on conditions in Afghanistan during the '90s. Light is shed on how and why the Taliban movement gained power. Discussion on drug trafficking includes statistics on opium production. A five-page epilogue analyzes the impact of 9/11 and subsequent actions taken to...


First In: An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan
Gary C. Schroen
0891418725
May 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Just days from retirement, Schroen, a former CIA station chief in Pakistan, was tapped to lead the effort to establish contact with the Northern Alliance in the days following 9/11; the 35-year CIA veteran commanded the first American team on the ground in Afghanistan. At the proverbial tip of the spear, the team slipped into the country and made contact with the Northern Alliance (a loose confederation of Afghan warlords that had been fighting the Taliban government and their al-Qaeda allies), secured their cooperation and set the stage for the deployment of Special Forces teams into Afghanistan. Schroen tells the story crisply and with intimate detail, taking readers on a journey that lurches from harrowing through exhilarating to frustrating—particularly in the realm of communications. "Sitting in the...


Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001
Steve Coll
1594200076
February 2004
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
Steve Coll's Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 offers revealing details of the CIA's involvement in the evolution of the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the years before the September 11 attacks. From the beginning, Coll shows how the CIA's on-again, off-again engagement with Afghanistan after the end of the Soviet war left officials at Langley with inadequate resources and intelligence to appreciate the emerging power of the Taliban. He also demonstrates how Afghanistan became a deadly playing field for international politics where Soviet, Pakistani, and U.S. agents armed and trained a succession of warring factions. At the same time, the book, though opinionated, is not solely a critique of the agency. Coll balances accounts of CIA failures with...


Afghanistan
Stephen Tanner
0306812339
July 2003
Paperback
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From AudioFile
This work is filled with remarkable scholarship, covering nearly 2,500 years and drawing from a vast number of sources. Raymond Todd handles the names of the many nationalities, locations, and individuals well. Generally, his strong tenor voice is pleasant, but at times his reading is stilted, a quality that may actually have more to do with the prose. The story of Afghanistan is more interesting than most would realize. Its geographic location has placed it at the center of various empires and given it longstanding geopolitical significance. M.L.C. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Choice September 2003
"A carefully researched account...a worthy addition to both...


Kabul in Winter: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan
Ann Jones
0805078843
March 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
In February 2003, Jones and her fellow NGO relief workers watched with disbelief and horror as Fox News declared the American war in Afghanistan a success—the Taliban totally defeated, all Afghan women "liberated" and the infrastructure completely restored. The reality they knew on the ground in Kabul was starkly different. Jones (Women Who Kill) presents her version of the events in this fascinating volume, which tours Kabul's streets, private homes, schools and women's prison. The political and military history of Afghanistan, as well as its cultural and religious traditions, inform Jones's daily interactions and observations. Describing an English class she taught, for example, Jones says, "Once, after I explained what blind date meant, a woman said, 'Like my wedding.' " Jones focuses particularly on...


Afghanistan - A New History
Sir Ewans
0415298261
Dec 2002
Hardcover
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Book Description
This book follows a generally linear historical form. It starts with an account of the country and its people, and then describes and analyses its history, with particular reference to its relations with neighboring powers and its dominant internal theme, the ongoing struggle between its rulers and tribal society. Attention is paid to the growing dichotomy during the twentieth century between an increasingly urban elite and the traditional countryside, and its culmination in the communist coup and Soviet invasion. This is followed by an analysis of the reasons for the Soviet withdrawal and the subsequent civil war. The book continues with a description of the rise to, and fall from, power of the Taliban and the consequences this has had, both internally and internationally. It ends with an analysis of the country...


Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History
George Crile
0802141242
April 2004
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Put the Tom Clancy clones back on the shelf; this covert-ops chronicle is practically impossible to put down. No thriller writer would dare invent Wilson, a six-feet-four-inch Texas congressman,liberal on social issues but rabidly anti-Communist, a boozer, engaged in serial affairs and wheeler-dealer of consummate skill. Only slightly less improbable is Gust Avrakotos, a blue-collar Greek immigrant who joined the CIA when it was an Ivy League preserve and fought his elitist colleagues almost as ruthlessly as he fought the Soviet Union in the Cold War's waning years. In conjunction with President Zia of Pakistan in the 1980s, Wilson and Arvakotos circumvented most of the barriers to arming the Afghan mujahideen-distance, money, law and internal CIA politics, to name a few. Their coups included getting...


A History of Modern Afghanistan
Michael Barry
0521534259
Feb 2004
Paperback
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Book Description
Michael Barry's book charts the history of Afghanistan from the founding of a kingdom in Kabul in 1504 to the present day. An understanding of the past is crucial for coming to grips with the complexities of Afghanistan's present which provides the focus of Barry's book. The country has been the site of almost continuous conflict since the communist coup d'etat in April 1978 to the fall of the Taliban in November 2001, when it was marked out as first-stop in America's war against terror. As an historian and anthropologist of the area, Barry is well placed to unravel these intricacies and to explain the religious and political context. His reasoned account offers an antidote to the more controversial and overstated images of Afghanistan which have proliferated recently, and his first-hand experience reveals a profound...


Inside CentCom: The Unvarnished Truth About the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
Michael DeLong, et al
0895260204
September 25, 2004
Hardcover
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Book Description
Lt. General Mike DeLong, deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, was second only to General Tommy Franks in the war on terror. At the center of discussions between President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and Tommy Franks, General DeLong offers the frankest and most authoritative look inside the wars-how we prepared for battle, how we fought, how we toppled two regimes-and what's happening now on these two crucial fronts.

From the Inside Flap
Only two men on earth have the insider knowledge about what really happened at the highest levels of our government and military from September 11, 2001, through the fall of Saddam Hussein's notorious dictatorship in Iraq. One of these men is Army General Tommy Franks. The other is...


A History of Modern Afghanistan
Michael Barry
0521827027
Feb 2004
Hardcover
·
 
Book Description
Michael Barry's book charts the history of Afghanistan from the founding of a kingdom in Kabul in 1504 to the present day. An understanding of the past is crucial for coming to grips with the complexities of Afghanistan's present which provides the focus of Barry's book. The country has been the site of almost continuous conflict since the communist coup d'etat in April 1978 to the fall of the Taliban in November 2001, when it was marked out as first-stop in America's war against terror. As an historian and anthropologist of the area, Barry is well placed to unravel these intricacies and to explain the religious and political context. His reasoned account offers an antidote to the more controversial and overstated images of Afghanistan which have proliferated recently, and his first-hand experience reveals a profound...


Bed of Red Flowers: In Search of My Afghanistan
Nelofer Pazira
0743281330
September 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Pazira, star of the film Kandahar, remembers picnics and flowers from her 1970s youth in Afghanistan. But those joys disappeared when the Soviets invaded. Her Kabul changed from beloved home to war zone, and her father was imprisoned for his beliefs (he believed in social democracy and refused to join the Communist Party). Pazira's memoir follows not just her own story but that of her country, and sometimes her overviews are broad. When she focuses on her own life, though, the narrative turns gripping and horrifying. Teenaged Pazira joined the resistance, bought black-market blood to aid her ill father after his imprisonment and arranged for the release of detained relatives. In 1989, her family escaped to Pakistan and eventually settled in Canada. Her story continues through her return to Afghanistan in search...


Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia
Ahmed Rashid
0300089023
March 1, 2001
Paperback
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Book Review
This is the single best book available on the Taliban, the fundamentalist Islamic regime in Afghanistan responsible for harboring the terrorist Osama bin Laden. Ahmed Rashid is a Pakistani journalist who has spent most of his career reporting on the region--he has personally met and interviewed many of the Taliban's shadowy leaders. Taliban was written and published before the massacres of September 11, 2001, yet it is essential reading for anyone who hopes to understand the aftermath of that black day. It includes details on how and why the Taliban came to power, the government's oppression of ordinary citizens (especially women), the heroin trade, oil intrigue, and--in a vitally relevant chapter--bin Laden's sinister rise to power. These pages contain stories of mass slaughter, beheadings, and the Taliban's crushing war...


Inside CentCom: The Unvarnished Truth about the War in Afghanistan and Iraq
Michael DeLong
0641721021

Hardcover
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Afghanistan and Central Asia
Martin McCauley
058250614X
Apr 2002
Paperback
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Book Description
Huge demand for books on this little-known region. There is nothing out there that covers the region in this way. Clear and accessible introduction for readers with little or no previous knowledge Completely up-to-date. McCauley is widely-acknowledged as a regional expert. The Afghan crisis has grabbed the attention of the entire world and underlined the desperate need in the West for a better understanding of the region and its challenges in the face of increasingly militant interpretations of Islam. Carved up and fought over by the British and Tsarist Russia in the nineteenth century, and under Soviet domination for much of the twentieth, the lonely passes, deserts and peoples of the five Central Asian republics have remained shrouded in obscurity. Even Afghanistan, the site of almost constant conflict since...


Come Back to Afghanistan: A California Teenager's Story
Said Hyder Akbar
1582345201
November 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Akbar's refreshingly unsentimental reminiscences of visiting his father's homeland as a teen make for an intriguing portrait of Afghanistan at a time of significant transition. On 9/11, Akbar, who was born in Peshawar in 1984 but grew up in the U.S., was living near Oakland, Calif., where his father ran a clothing store. After the attack, the elder Akbar, a descendant of an Afghan political family, returned to his country to take a job as President Hamid Karzai's chief spokesman and, later, as governor of Kunar, a rural province. The author visited his father for three successive summers, and the result is this account, a closeup view of the creation of the country's post-Taliban democratic government, told from a perspective that's impressively both insider and objective. Akbar reports on chats with cabinet...


Militant Tricks: Battlefield Ruses of the Islamic Insurgent
H. John Poole, Ray L. Smith
0963869582
October 17, 2005
Paperback
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North County Times (San Diego), 31 December 2005
"Poole's book examines war at the tactical level ... and tries to explain the insurgents' ways of thinking and fighting."

B. Gen. Edwin Howard Simmons USMC (Ret.), Sept. 2005
"[F]or those who wish to better understand today’s confused events, it [Militant Tricks] is well worth reading."

See all Editorial Reviews


A History of Afghanistan
Percy Molesworth Sykes
0710311745
Oct 2005
Hardcover
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Book Description
This two volume set by Percy Sykes, former diplomat and world traveller, is a thorough look at Afghanistan, a country with a unique geographical position within Asia. Sykes relied mainly on original sources to reconstruct a history of this country, and many illustrations and maps enhance the book's content. Volume one runs from Prehistoric times to the siege of Herat in 1833. The second volume details this history of Afghanistan from the first Afghan War in 1839 to the assassination of King Nadir Shah and accession of King Zahir Shah in 1933. Overall, Sykes has compiled a comprehensive and varied look at the history of Afghanistan, which will be of value for anyone interested in this mysterious country.


A Brief History of Afghanistan
Shaista Wahab
0816057613
Oct 2005
Hardcover
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Roberts Ridge: A Story of Courage and Sacrifice on Takur Ghar Mountain, Afghanistan
Malcolm Cook MacPherson
0553803638
August 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
On March 2, 2002, U.S. intelligence launched Operation Anaconda; having noted a concentration of al-Qaeda and Taliban forces in the Shah-i-Kot Valley, they dispatched MAKO-30, a seven-man navy SEAL reconnaissance team, attempted a helicopter landing on Takur Ghar, the highest overlooking peak. Tasked with calling in air strikes, MAKO-30 found its landing zone to be a well-concealed al-Qaeda camp; the team's Chinook helicopter was driven off by withering ground fire. When SEAL Neil Roberts fell out of the chopper, the others insisted on going back for him. With the team pinned down by enemy fire and facing annihilation, commanders dispatched a quick reaction force of army Rangers to rescue them. Thus began a harrowing 17-hour drama every bit as perilous and courageous as the Rangers' ill-fated Battle of Mogadishu,...


Afghanistan
Abdul Hai Habibi
1587361698
July 2003
Paperback
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Book Description
Afghanistan: An Abridged History is a condensed version of Adbul Hai Habibi's 1967 A Short History of Afghanistan. Updated to include Afghanistan's latest events, it provides a narrative of the country's history from pre-historic times to the present. It testifies to the infighting among local warlords, the impact of numerous foreign invasions on the land, as well as the changes that resulted from outside influences. Such incursions continue until this day.

About the Author
The late Professor Habibi taught history and literature at the University of Kabul and served as president of the Historical Society of Afghanistan for a decade. He is the author of nearly a hundred books on the literature, history, philology, linguistics, poetry, and culture of the people of Afghanistan....


Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina
Peter Dale Scott
0742525228
May 2003
Paperback
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Book Description
Peter Dale Scott's brilliantly researched tour de force illuminates the underlying forces that drive U.S. global policy from Vietnam to Colombia and now to Afghanistan and Iraq. He brings to light the intertwined patterns of drugs, oil politics, and intel


Women of Afghanistan
Isabelle Delloye
0641695489

Hardcover
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