Synopses & Reviews
Shrouding themselves and their aims in deepest secrecy, the leaders of the Taliban movement control Afghanistan with an inflexible, crushing fundamentalism. The most extreme and radical of all Islamic organizations, the Taliban inspires fascination, controversy, and especially fear in both the Muslim world and the West. Correspondent Ahmed Rashid brings the shadowy world of the Taliban into sharp focus in this enormously interesting and revealing book. It is the only authoritative account of the Taliban and modern day Afghanistan available to English language readers.
Based on his experiences as a journalist covering the civil war in Afghanistan for twenty years, traveling and living with the Taliban, and interviewing most of the Taliban leaders since their emergence to power in 1994, Rashid offers unparalleled firsthand information. He explains how the growth of Taliban power has already created severe instability in Russia, Iran, Pakistan, and five Central Asian republics. He describes the Talibans role as a major player in a new “Great Game”—a competition among Western countries and companies to build oil and gas pipelines from Central Asia to Western and Asian markets. The author also discusses the controversial changes in American attitudes toward the Taliban—from early support to recent bombings of Osama Bin Ladens hideaway and other Taliban-protected terrorist bases—and how they have influenced the stability of the region.
“A brilliant work, engrossing and wholly convincing.”Neville Maxwell, World Affairs
“[R]ead this remarkable book and the bewildering complexity of Afghan politics and the deadly overspill of chaos, narcotics, and sectarian violence into the surrounding region will become clear.”—Patrick Seale, Sunday Times
'“Rashid marshals the vast amount of information he has accumulated over decades of covering the area into a long, sad story and tells it with finesse. His book is a gripping account of one of the horror stories of post-Cold War politics.”Jonathan Groner, Salon.com
-- Christopher de Bellaigue - New York Review of Books'
'“[A] thorough, authoritative exegesis.”Peter Bergen, Washington Post Book World
-- Christopher Hitchens - Vanity Fair'
'“[Rashid is] Pakistans best and bravest reporter.”Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair
-- Patrick Seale - Sunday Times'
'“This is a fine bookerudite, concise, sure-footed, packed with information and insight, easy to read. On each of the three major interrelated themes covered herethe history of the Taliban and the internal politics of Afghanistan; Islam and the Taliban; the ‘new Great Game of oil and gas in Central Asiathe author is illuminating and thorough.”Dilip Hiro, Middle East International
-- Barnaby Rogerson'
'“The standard work in English on the Taliban.”--Christopher de Bellaigue, New York Review of Books
-- Dilip Hiro - Middle East International'
“An excellent political and historical account of the movements rise to power.”—Katha Pollitt, Nation
“Rashid . . . provides the most reliable and absorbing account of the militant Central Asian movement that has given shelter to Osama bin Laden, addressing the Talibans complicated economic, diplomatic, sociological and military origins.”—Lorraine Adams, Washington Post Book World
A journalist who covered the civil war in Afghanistan for 20 years and interviewed leaders of the Taliban organization brings into focus this most radical of fundamentalist Islamic movements, which is creating instability in the East and taking an increasing role in the development of oil and gas pipelines from Central Asia to Western and Asian markets.
About the Author
is a correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review
and Daily Telegraph
on Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. He is the author of The Resurgence of Central Asia: Islam or Nationalism?