Afghanistan has long been the focal point of East-West relations, from the 19th and early 20th centuries when its mountain ranges provided the arena where the world's greatest powers sought to expand their influence to its center role in international struggles today. Squeezed between four empires--Russia, China, India, and Persia--Afghanistan's tortured history provides an extraordinary glimpse into the patterns of world movements. This serious, yet accessible history of modern Afghanistan is of vital importance for understanding the country's current crisis and is essential reading for historians, policy makers, and all those interested in the state of the world today.
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Angelo Rasanayagam was Chief of Mission for the UN in Iran and a number of other countries, before becoming Director of the UNHCR office in Peshawar, Pakistan.
""Excellent - a veritable textbook, and a reference source for anyone interested in Afghanistan.""--Thomas Withington, Jane's Intelligence Review
""A magisterial study of the troubled nation, from the accession of the Iron Amir in 1889 up to the Taliban, the war of the winter of 2001-02, and search for a new state structure thereafter.""--History Today
""Rasanayagam's work connects a difficult past with a difficult present in order to extract necessary lessons for the future. He presents a complex history, which will be understood by the general reader, drawing attention to a large range of issues in the contemporary world.""--Zahir Tanin, BBC
""Well written, succinct, accessible, analytical, objective and balanced - this is one of the best introductions to the history of modern Afghanistan available to the general public.""--Baqr Moin, Head, BBC Persian Service
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