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This was a very good book. I was looking for an explaination to the events that led to the rise of these terrorists. This book was a very good, unbiased account of those events. Like most history, it does not judge, it only explains. It does so in great detail that is sometimes hard to follow, but it is well worth the effort. It also relates the truth of this situation, in no uncertain terms: This is a far more compli
cated issue than it appears. Those countries who we have been led to believe are our allies have a strange conection to this land and its troubles. Very well worth it.
23 of 23 people found this review helpful
The author has deep roots in central Asia and a long history in working and reporting in Afghanistan. He uses this knowledge to provide a detailed description of the history and the social fabric of Afghanistan as a background for an understanding of the rise to power of the Taliban and the involvement of the surrounding countries as well as the United States and Russia.
This is not a book for those who only want a lurid depiction of the Taliban, but rather for those seeking an in depth understanding of the region and of the competing interests that have led to the current situation. It is fascinating, horrific, and riveting.
At first one might think that the book was written before 9/11, but it was published shortly after, however, it does not deal with Afghanistan as it now exists after 10 years of U.S. armed forces involvement. The book is relevant because it provides the underpinning for understanding the problems facing the country today. The author appears to be as unbiased as a human being can be. As for using the "transportation mafia" being undefined or unspecified, it seemed clear to me that it referred to the criminals transporting heroin, not simply the movement of trade through the country. In short, the book educated and informed me about the social, economic, political, and military history of the civil war.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful