This monumental book examines Afghan society in conflict, from the 1978 communist coup to the fall of Najibullah, the last Soviet-installed president, in 1992. This edition, newly revised by the author, reflects developments since then and includes material on the Taliban and Osama bin Laden. It is a book that now seems remarkably prescient.
Drawing on two decades of research, Barnett R. Rubin, a leading expert on Afghanistan, provides a fascinating account of the nature of the old regime, the rise and fall of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan, and the troubled Mujahidin resistance. He relates all these phenomena to international actors, showing how the interaction of U.S. policy and Pakistani and Saudi Arabian interests has helped to create the challenges of today. Rubin puts into context the continuing turmoil in Afghanistan and offers readers a coherent historical explanation for the country’s social and political fragmentation.
Praise for the earlier edition:
This study is theoretically informed, empirically grounded, and gracefully
written. Anyone who wants to understand Afghanistan’s troubled history and the
reasons for its present distress should read this book.” Foreign Affairs
This is the book on Afghanistan for the educated public.” Political Science Quarterly
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The tortured history of Afghanistan is illuminatingly outlined by Barnett S. Rubin, an American academic and human rights monitor in the region. In the 19th century, the country successfully resisted colonial rule, becoming a buffer between the imperial superpowers, Britain and Russia. That dangerous position resulted in an isolation that held back modernization and the emergence of a modern central government. In this century, the Soviet Union and the United States maintained the status quo up until the early seventies, when a communist coup heralded massive outside intervention. The country was ripe for a disastrous fragmentation. This scholarly study is complemented by a sequel: The Search for Peace in Afghanistan.From the Back Cover:
Praise for the earlier edition: "This study is theoretically informed, empirically grounded, and gracefully written. Anyone who wants to understand Afghanistan's troubled history and the reasons for its present distress should read this book."—Foreign Affairs "This is the book on Afghanistan for the educated public."—Political Science Quarterly
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