Afghanistan: A Short History of Its People and Politics

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9780060505080: Afghanistan: A Short History of Its People and Politics

A fascinating chronicle of a nation's turbulent history.

Reaching back to earliest times, Martin Ewans examines the historical evolution of one of today's most dangerous breeding grounds of global terrorism. After a succession of early dynasties and the emergence of an Afghan empire during the eighteenth century, the nineteenth and early twentieth century saw a fierce power struggle between Russia and Britain for supremacy in Afghanistan that was ended by the nation's proclamation of independence in 1919. A communist coup in the late 1970s overthrew the established regime and led to the invasion of Soviet troops in 1979. Roughly a decade later, the Soviet Union withdrew, condemning Afghanistan to a civil war that tore apart the nation's last remnants of religious, ethnic, and political unity. It was into this climate that the Taliban was born.

Today, war-torn and economically destitute, Afghanistan faces unique challenges as it looks toward an uncertain future. Martin Ewans carefully weighs the lessons of history to provide a frank look at Afghanistan's prospects and the international resonances of the nation's immense task of total political and economic reconstruction.

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About the Author:

Sir Martin Ewans, a former officer of the British Diplomatic Service, served in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, as well as in diplomatic missions in Africa and North America. He holds a degree from Cambridge University and is currently chairman of the international charity Children's Aid Direct.

From Booklist:

September 11 drastically changed the fate of this scholarly history of Afghanistan. Before, it might have found an audience in a few college classrooms, but now, few libraries will want to be without it. Ewans begins by glossing over early Afghan history and the triumph by Islam over Buddhism and indigenous religions, and giving a brief overview of the occupations by Genghis Khan and Timur. Most of the book is devoted to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. There aren't a lot of bright spots in modern Afghan history. The people share no linguistic, religious, or ethnic traditions and have come together only to fight common enemies. Two wars with the British and the mujahadeen resistance against the Soviets devastated both the people and the economy, but the anarchy following the wars was equally crippling. Often lacking a centralized government, the few rulers Afghanistan has known, from Daoud to Mullah Omar, have been charismatic personalities but hugely ineffective leaders. With a comprehensive understanding of Afghan history, Ewans portrays the rise of the Taliban in the context of a nation that had known no peace in 40 years and little peace in all its history. An epilogue, which contains the most compelling writing of the book, explores the aftermath of September 11 on Afghan history. Though the dry, scholarly political history will turn off casual readers, this is a fascinating story and the best book-length examination of Afghanistan's history we're likely to have for some time. John Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. A fascinating chronicle of a nation s turbulent history. Reaching back to earliest times, Martin Ewans examines the historical evolution of one of today s most dangerous breeding grounds of global terrorism. After a succession of early dynasties and the emergence of an Afghan empire during the eighteenth century, the nineteenth and early twentieth century saw a fierce power struggle between Russia and Britain for supremacy in Afghanistan that was ended by the nation s proclamation of independence in 1919. A communist coup in the late 1970s overthrew the established regime and led to the invasion of Soviet troops in 1979. Roughly a decade later, the Soviet Union withdrew, condemning Afghanistan to a civil war that tore apart the nation s last remnants of religious, ethnic, and political unity. It was into this climate that the Taliban was born. Today, war-torn and economically destitute, Afghanistan faces unique challenges as it looks toward an uncertain future. Martin Ewans carefully weighs the lessons of history to provide a frank look at Afghanistan s prospects and the international resonances of the nation s immense task of total political and economic reconstruction. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060505080

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. A fascinating chronicle of a nation s turbulent history. Reaching back to earliest times, Martin Ewans examines the historical evolution of one of today s most dangerous breeding grounds of global terrorism. After a succession of early dynasties and the emergence of an Afghan empire during the eighteenth century, the nineteenth and early twentieth century saw a fierce power struggle between Russia and Britain for supremacy in Afghanistan that was ended by the nation s proclamation of independence in 1919. A communist coup in the late 1970s overthrew the established regime and led to the invasion of Soviet troops in 1979. Roughly a decade later, the Soviet Union withdrew, condemning Afghanistan to a civil war that tore apart the nation s last remnants of religious, ethnic, and political unity. It was into this climate that the Taliban was born. Today, war-torn and economically destitute, Afghanistan faces unique challenges as it looks toward an uncertain future. Martin Ewans carefully weighs the lessons of history to provide a frank look at Afghanistan s prospects and the international resonances of the nation s immense task of total political and economic reconstruction. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060505080

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