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Available April 29, 2014
Other titles in the American Empire Project series:
No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes (American Empire Project)by Anand Gopal
Synopses & Reviews
Told through the lives of three Afghans, the stunning tale of how the United States had triumph in sight in Afghanistan—and then brought the Taliban back from the dead
In a breathtaking chronicle, acclaimed journalist Anand Gopal traces in vivid detail the lives of three Afghans caught in Americas war on terror. He follows a Taliban commander, who rises from scrawny teenager to leading insurgent; a US-backed warlord, who uses the American military to gain personal wealth and power; and a village housewife trapped between the two sides, who discovers the devastating cost of neutrality.
Through their dramatic stories, Gopal shows that the Afghan war, so often regarded as a hopeless quagmire, could in fact have gone very differently. Top Taliban leaders actually tried to surrender within months of the US invasion, renouncing all political activity and submitting to the new government. Effectively, the Taliban ceased to exist—yet the Americans were unwilling to accept such a turnaround. Instead, driven by false intelligence from their allies and an unyielding mandate to fight terrorism, American forces continued to press the conflict, resurrecting the insurgency that persists to this day.
With its intimate accounts of life in war-torn Afghanistan, Gopals thoroughly original reporting lays bare the workings of Americas longest war and the truth behind its prolonged agony. A heartbreaking story of mistakes and misdeeds, No Good Men Among the Living challenges our usual perceptions of the Afghan conflict, its victims, and its supposed winners.
As U.S. troops prepare to withdraw, the shocking tale of how the American military had triumph in sight in Afghanistan—and then brought the Taliban back from the dead
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.
Gopals 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 Americas longest war and the truth behind its prolonged agony. A thoroughly original exposé of the conflict that is still being fought, it shows just how the American intervention went so desperately wrong.
About the Author
Anand Gopal has served as an Afghanistan correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and The Christian Science Monitor, and has reported on the Middle East and South Asia for Harpers, The Nation, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, and other publications. Gopal is a fellow at the New America Foundation.
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