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Book
viii, 304 pages : map ; 25 cm
  • The last days of vice and virtue
  • The battle for Tirin Kot
  • The war from Year Zero
  • The sewing center of Khas Uruzgan
  • No one is safe from this
  • To make the bad things good again
  • Black holes
  • Election day
  • The far end of the bazaar
  • Back to work
  • The Tangi
  • No-man's-land
  • Stepping out
  • The leader.
In the popular imagination, Afghanistan is often regarded as the site of intractable conflict, the American war against the Taliban a perpetually hopeless quagmire. But as Anand Gopal demonstrates in this stunning chronicle, top Taliban leaders were in fact ready to surrender within months of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, renouncing all political activity and submitting to the new government. Effectively, the Taliban ceased to exist - yet the American forces were not ready to accept such a turnaround. Driven by false intelligence from corrupt warlords and by a misguided conviction that Taliban members could never change sides, the U.S. instead continued to press the conflict, resurrecting the insurgency that persists to this day. Gopal's dramatic narrative, full of vivid personal detail, follows three Afghans through years of U.S. missteps: a Taliban commander, a U.S.-backed warlord, and a housewife trapped in the middle of the fighting. With its intimate accounts of life in small Afghan villages, and harrowing tales of crimes committed by Taliban leaders and American-supported provincial officials alike, No Good Men Among the Living lays bare the workings of America's longest war and the truth behind its prolonged agony. A thoroughly original expose of the conflict that is still being fought, it shows just how the American intervention went so desperately wrong.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780805091793 20160614
Green Library
IPS-248-01
Book
xii, 381 pages, [16] pages of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.
Green Library
IPS-248-01
Book
xi, 389 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm.
  • List of Illustrations vii Preface ix Introduction 1 Chapter One: People and Places 17 Chapter Two: Conquering and Ruling Premodern Afghanistan 66 Chapter Three: Anglo-Afghan Wars and State Building in Afghanistan 110 Chapter Four: Afghanistan in the Twentieth Century: State and Society in Conflict 164 Chapter Five: Afghanistan Enters the Twenty- first Century 272 Chapter Six: Some Conclusions 337 Notes 351 References 359 Index 367.
  • (source: Nielsen Book Data)9780691154411 20160609
"Afghanistan" traces the historic struggles and the changing nature of political authority in this volatile region of the world, from the Mughal Empire in the sixteenth century to the Taliban resurgence today. Thomas Barfield introduces readers to the bewildering diversity of tribal and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, explaining what unites them as Afghans despite the regional, cultural, and political differences that divide them. He shows how governing these people was relatively easy when power was concentrated in a small dynastic elite, but how this delicate political order broke down in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when Afghanistan's rulers mobilized rural militias to expel first the British and later the Soviets. Armed insurgency proved remarkably successful against the foreign occupiers, but it also undermined the Afghan government's authority and rendered the country ever more difficult to govern as time passed. Barfield vividly describes how Afghanistan's armed factions plunged the country into a civil war, giving rise to clerical rule by the Taliban and Afghanistan's isolation from the world. He examines why the American invasion in the wake of September 11 toppled the Taliban so quickly, and how this easy victory lulled the United States into falsely believing that a viable state could be built just as easily. "Afghanistan" is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how a land conquered and ruled by foreign dynasties for more than a thousand years became the "graveyard of empires" for the British and Soviets, and what the United States must do to avoid a similar fate.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9780691154411 20160609
Green Library
IPS-248-01