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The Lion's Grave: Dispatches from Afghanistan

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New Yorker staff writer Jon Lee Anderson arrived in Afghanistan to report for the magazine ten days before U.S. bombers began pounding Al Qaeda and Taliban forces. His dispatches provide an unprecedented and riveting on-the-ground account of the Afghan conflict, and his e-mails to the magazine — selections of which frame the pieces here — paint a vivid behind-the-scenes po New Yorker staff writer Jon Lee Anderson arrived in Afghanistan to report for the magazine ten days before U.S. bombers began pounding Al Qaeda and Taliban forces. His dispatches provide an unprecedented and riveting on-the-ground account of the Afghan conflict, and his e-mails to the magazine — selections of which frame the pieces here — paint a vivid behind-the-scenes portrait of war journalism. From the battle for the Taliban bastion of Kunduz and the interim government's clumsy takeover of Kabul, to the search for Osama bin Laden in the Tora Bora caves and the truth of Al Qaeda's assassination of charismatic Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud — two days before September 11, 2001 — Anderson offers an unprecedented look into the forces that shape the conflict and the players who may threaten Afghanistan's future. In the distinguished tradition of New Yorker war reporting, The Lion's Grave illuminates a region to which we will be inextricably bound for some time to come.


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New Yorker staff writer Jon Lee Anderson arrived in Afghanistan to report for the magazine ten days before U.S. bombers began pounding Al Qaeda and Taliban forces. His dispatches provide an unprecedented and riveting on-the-ground account of the Afghan conflict, and his e-mails to the magazine — selections of which frame the pieces here — paint a vivid behind-the-scenes po New Yorker staff writer Jon Lee Anderson arrived in Afghanistan to report for the magazine ten days before U.S. bombers began pounding Al Qaeda and Taliban forces. His dispatches provide an unprecedented and riveting on-the-ground account of the Afghan conflict, and his e-mails to the magazine — selections of which frame the pieces here — paint a vivid behind-the-scenes portrait of war journalism. From the battle for the Taliban bastion of Kunduz and the interim government's clumsy takeover of Kabul, to the search for Osama bin Laden in the Tora Bora caves and the truth of Al Qaeda's assassination of charismatic Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud — two days before September 11, 2001 — Anderson offers an unprecedented look into the forces that shape the conflict and the players who may threaten Afghanistan's future. In the distinguished tradition of New Yorker war reporting, The Lion's Grave illuminates a region to which we will be inextricably bound for some time to come.

30 review for The Lion's Grave: Dispatches from Afghanistan

  1. 5 out of 5

    Liam

    The way I got turned on to this book is kind of weird; I was browsing on Amazon.com in a half-assed sort of way this past Summer, and noticed that the first review of this book was apparently written by Mr. Anderson's kid brother, who essentially said that while he of course thought his older brother was pretty damn cool, it was in fact true, and everyone should read his books. I have two younger brothers myself, and I know that they have at various times over the years felt trapped in my shado The way I got turned on to this book is kind of weird; I was browsing on Amazon.com in a half-assed sort of way this past Summer, and noticed that the first review of this book was apparently written by Mr. Anderson's kid brother, who essentially said that while he of course thought his older brother was pretty damn cool, it was in fact true, and everyone should read his books. I have two younger brothers myself, and I know that they have at various times over the years felt trapped in my shadow to some degree. I would hope that my own brothers have as much respect for me as Mr. Anderson's brother obviously does for him. I had been aware for many years of Jon Lee Anderson's first book, 'Guerrillas', which had been published in the late 1980s and is now considered to be a classic work, but have never read it because I thought, incorrectly, that it was solely about Afghanistan. My interests did not extend to that part of the world until roughly 7 years ago, when I was re-reading a memoir by William Colby (former U.S. DCI who died in mysterious circumstances in 1996), a man for whom I have great respect, who had decided at one point in his career to develop a secondary field of expertise in Middle Eastern affairs. In any case, when I noticed the other books that Mr. Anderson had written during the last several years, I was quite impressed & immediately placed most of them on my "to-read" list. I was lucky enough to pick up this book for a Dollar at the DPL book sale this Fall, and it has turned out to be well worth reading. This book is valuable both for Mr. Anderson's insights into the assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud and also as reportage of the situation in Afghanistan during and immediately after the final Northern Alliance offensive against the Taliban. It is extremely well-written, and I very much look forward to reading the author's other books, particularly his biography of Che Guevara.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gerald

    Anderson spent a lot of time traveling around Afghanistan just before and during the U.S. invasion in 2001. It's up close and personal and the story of Massoud is fantastic -- he was assassinated by suicide bombers on September 10, 2001. He clearly explains why this cleared the way for the 911 attacks. Perhaps the best parts of the book are the memos and emails sent back and forth between Jon Lee and his editors at the New Yorker. They very vividly portray the difficulties he was experiencing in Anderson spent a lot of time traveling around Afghanistan just before and during the U.S. invasion in 2001. It's up close and personal and the story of Massoud is fantastic -- he was assassinated by suicide bombers on September 10, 2001. He clearly explains why this cleared the way for the 911 attacks. Perhaps the best parts of the book are the memos and emails sent back and forth between Jon Lee and his editors at the New Yorker. They very vividly portray the difficulties he was experiencing in the field in unforgettable ways.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anne Ward

    There are books about Afghanistan by soldiers, by historians, by policy makers, but this book gives a different boots-on-the-ground perspective--the war through the eyes of a reporter. The author, a veteran war correspondent, provides a well written, insightful and informative narrative that falls just short of intriguing. Three Stars: Good book, but there are better books about Afghanistan--read Horse Soldiers instead.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Aran Gilmore

    These stories provide a valuable insight into the internal social climate and political structure of Afghanistan. If you have any interest in understanding more about the Middle East, this is one of many books you should read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Najila

    This was a short but informative book. It was the author's personal experience in Afghanistan right after the 9/11 attacks when America got involved. This was a short but informative book. It was the author's personal experience in Afghanistan right after the 9/11 attacks when America got involved.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Matti Paasio

    A unique, first-hand account of the death and destruction that Taliban and al Qaeda brought to Afghanistan. At the same time, the book is a homage to Ahmed Shah Massoud - the Lion of the title - who pushed bin Laden and Mullah Omar out of the country. Being dead wouldn't stop him. A unique, first-hand account of the death and destruction that Taliban and al Qaeda brought to Afghanistan. At the same time, the book is a homage to Ahmed Shah Massoud - the Lion of the title - who pushed bin Laden and Mullah Omar out of the country. Being dead wouldn't stop him.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Frank

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jarith Muñoz

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bastián Fernández

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nacho Cordova

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ben

  12. 4 out of 5

    Siiri

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sebastiaan Knoops

  14. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

  15. 5 out of 5

    Johnny

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laimis

  17. 4 out of 5

    RAMANA LALAM

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dan Eggleston

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dilip

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Citazen Serwer

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jerry Bond

  23. 5 out of 5

    David Burns

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bj Tucker

  25. 5 out of 5

    João Gonçalves

  26. 5 out of 5

    Scott Weaver

  27. 4 out of 5

    Frank

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lydia

  29. 5 out of 5

    David Johnson

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bubajr

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