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Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival

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Afghanistan's history is a sad one: Soviet invasion in 1979; Pakistan-backed internal conflict in the 1980s; the Taliban regime and then the US invasion after the catastrophe of September 11th. Why does Afghanistan remain so vulnerable to domestic instability, foreign intervention and ideological extremism? Amin Saikal provides us with a sweeping new understanding of this Afghanistan's history is a sad one: Soviet invasion in 1979; Pakistan-backed internal conflict in the 1980s; the Taliban regime and then the US invasion after the catastrophe of September 11th. Why does Afghanistan remain so vulnerable to domestic instability, foreign intervention and ideological extremism? Amin Saikal provides us with a sweeping new understanding of this troubled country that grounds Afghanistan's problems in rivalries stemming from a series of dynastic alliances within the successive royal families from the end of the eighteenth century to the pro-Communist coup of 1978. This is the definitive study of Afghanistan.


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Afghanistan's history is a sad one: Soviet invasion in 1979; Pakistan-backed internal conflict in the 1980s; the Taliban regime and then the US invasion after the catastrophe of September 11th. Why does Afghanistan remain so vulnerable to domestic instability, foreign intervention and ideological extremism? Amin Saikal provides us with a sweeping new understanding of this Afghanistan's history is a sad one: Soviet invasion in 1979; Pakistan-backed internal conflict in the 1980s; the Taliban regime and then the US invasion after the catastrophe of September 11th. Why does Afghanistan remain so vulnerable to domestic instability, foreign intervention and ideological extremism? Amin Saikal provides us with a sweeping new understanding of this troubled country that grounds Afghanistan's problems in rivalries stemming from a series of dynastic alliances within the successive royal families from the end of the eighteenth century to the pro-Communist coup of 1978. This is the definitive study of Afghanistan.

30 review for Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nawid

    What an amazing read, extremely well structured. The analysis of the author and authenticity is great. Nearly in every other book written on the Afghan politics many authors come across to an impasse in critical issues such as analyzing ethno-tribal issues, which leads them to a reluctant way of 'hitting-around-the-bush' explanations, whereas the author in this book has authentically analyzed not only the admixture of ethnics but also the inter party conflicts in certain periods of time in the h What an amazing read, extremely well structured. The analysis of the author and authenticity is great. Nearly in every other book written on the Afghan politics many authors come across to an impasse in critical issues such as analyzing ethno-tribal issues, which leads them to a reluctant way of 'hitting-around-the-bush' explanations, whereas the author in this book has authentically analyzed not only the admixture of ethnics but also the inter party conflicts in certain periods of time in the history of modern Afghanistan. anyways one who tends to read this book, must at least have read couple of other 'elaborate' books on the Political History of Afghanistan...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Wes F

    An amazing read that had so many good historical insights. The author did an excellent job of laying out the various historical stages in Afghanistan's modern history--and in looking at the underlying reasons why each of them failed to live up to expectations, or how they shot themselves in the foot. Very insightful read. An amazing read that had so many good historical insights. The author did an excellent job of laying out the various historical stages in Afghanistan's modern history--and in looking at the underlying reasons why each of them failed to live up to expectations, or how they shot themselves in the foot. Very insightful read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Antony

    Anything by Amin Saikal is worth reading. This is his third edition history of the country he originates from. Afghanistan's modern history is pretty complex; Saikal's starting point is with Ahmad Shah Durrani's founding of the country in 1747. Saikal makes that accessible and extremely interesting. This is hard to put down - it's that good. (Although I found mapping the royal lineages on a separate piece of paper helped a great deal.) Anything by Amin Saikal is worth reading. This is his third edition history of the country he originates from. Afghanistan's modern history is pretty complex; Saikal's starting point is with Ahmad Shah Durrani's founding of the country in 1747. Saikal makes that accessible and extremely interesting. This is hard to put down - it's that good. (Although I found mapping the royal lineages on a separate piece of paper helped a great deal.)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mena Hosai

    One of the best history books I have read!!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Daniels

    Above average book on Afghanistan, lots of detail, lots of good analysis. This and Rasanyaganam's book are among the best I've read on Afghanistan. He has deep knowledge, excellent research. It may be a little boring as a first book on Afghanistan, probably better to read Rasanayaganam's book first, this is too detailed. He is weak at being succinct or poignant. tho occasionally he says strange things, like he said the creation of Bangladesh was destabilizing, but that's a strange, minority opini Above average book on Afghanistan, lots of detail, lots of good analysis. This and Rasanyaganam's book are among the best I've read on Afghanistan. He has deep knowledge, excellent research. It may be a little boring as a first book on Afghanistan, probably better to read Rasanayaganam's book first, this is too detailed. He is weak at being succinct or poignant. tho occasionally he says strange things, like he said the creation of Bangladesh was destabilizing, but that's a strange, minority opinion. Not many people see it that way.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ariana

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ali Reshad

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rory

  9. 5 out of 5

    Pat

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan Sample

  11. 5 out of 5

    Becca

  12. 5 out of 5

    Neha Zenea

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jackie Rose

  14. 5 out of 5

    Massoud

  15. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ewa Gajer

  18. 5 out of 5

    Maihan Eman

  19. 5 out of 5

    Book Worm

  20. 5 out of 5

    Farida

  21. 5 out of 5

    Konstantin Matveev

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shayan

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mehdi Nawa

  24. 5 out of 5

    Timur Khan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  26. 5 out of 5

    Can

  27. 4 out of 5

    Haseebullah

  28. 5 out of 5

    Noveler

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jens Schaefer

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ejaz Ahmad Malikzada

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