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Taliban: The Unknown Enemy
Synopses & Reviews
From a small group of religious students formed in 1994, the Taliban quickly grew into a national movement that occupied all of Afghanistan. Led by the mysterious Mullah Omar, the group established a theocracy based on strict observance of Sharia law. When the Americans overthrew the Taliban in 2001, the United States thought the regime had been defeated. Yet today, nine years later, the Taliban continue to wage a bloody insurgency.
In this extraordinary and compelling account of the rise, fall, and return of the Taliban, author James Fergusson, who has unique access to its shadowy leaders, presents the reality of themovement so often mischaracterized in the press. His surprising and, perhaps, uncomfortable conclusions about our current strategy in Afghanistan should be required reading for anyone who wishes to understand this intractable conflict.
Book News Annotation:
Freelance journalist Fergusson has been reporting on Afghanistan for nearly a decade and a half, beginning with his coverage of the Taliban's takeover of Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan in 1997. In this work, he offers a portrait of the history and current status of the Taliban in which he hopes to counter Western images of the group as mere "bearded bigots" and to impress upon the reader that the only way out of the mess that is the war in Afghanistan will be through a negotiated settlement with the Taliban. He describes the origins of the group and how it came to power and how it has been able to sustain and expand resistance to the invading Western countries after its initial fall from power. He also reports on the views of contemporary Taliban leaders as revealed in interviews with them. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
An award-winning author, foreign correspondent, and freelance journalist analyzes the history--and current insurgency--of the Taliban while asking provocative questions about our Afghanistan strategy.
This sympathetic and eye-opening account should be required reading for anyone seeking to understand contemporary Afghanistan.”--Boston Globe
About the Author
James Fergusson is a freelance journalist and foreign correspondent who has covered the Taliban extensively. He is also the author of the award-winning book A Million Bullets. He lives in Edinburgh.
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