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The Wind Blows Away Our Words

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  75 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
a lament for the soviet invasion of afghanistan
Published (first published November 12th 1987)
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Valerie
First of all, I found this quirky little extended essay while wandering --in the stacks of a library --!! (How many people still wander library shelves? I feel lucky I still can on occasion; difficult to do if you're not affiliated with a university.). Second, Doris Lessing? Turns out I like her. (Which is not to say I agree with everything she says.)
I adore this line from her bio: she was part of a group that "read everything, and did not think it remarkable to read." Ahem.
I read and re-read
...more
Shayan
Jun 21, 2012 Shayan rated it liked it
In many ways a naive book. Lessing is eager to convince her readers that the Afghan War is a story of imperialism resisted by little men. It is an earnest effort to wake the west's conscience and rally its support for the muhajideen. It certainly feels out of step with how we look at this history today. But it is interesting in revealing the public apathy in the west that she was working against in 1986. The book is useful as a historic document. Not just for its glimpse at the mood in the west, ...more
Steven
Aug 22, 2015 Steven rated it liked it
Obviously the work is dated, but it's interesting as a snapshot of the attitudes at the time. I found it overall to be okay.

At times it made some excellent points (e.g., in Part IV, where it asks why one type of atrocious mass-killing is more or less acceptable than another, such as why no one has significantly memorialized the non-Jews murdered by Hitler, or the even-greater death toll exacted by Stalin on his own countrymen). Her point about the Spanish Flu epidemic is well-taken and relative
...more
Ignacio
Jul 25, 2014 Ignacio rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Decepcionante. Hace tiempo que no tomaba un libro con tantas expectativas. Doris Lessing escribe bien y el tema, sobre el que tan poco hay escrito, me llamaba muchísimo la atención. Cuanto más alta la expectativa, más grande la decepción. Doris Lessing, nos aburre con un conjunto desconexo de escritos que ni son un ensayo ni un conjunto de artículos periodísticos ni nada que se pueda definir con claridad. Comienzo con una primera parte de tintes mitológicos para repetir hasta la saciedad sus tes ...more
Fred
Feb 20, 2008 Fred rated it really liked it
Shelves: asia, melancholy, reviewed
if it were not so beautiful it would be too sad to bear
Michele Vincenzo Scrimenti
This book should be used as a textbook for how not to conduct journalism. Doris Lessing is a good novelist, and here her writing doesn't miss a beat. She frames our inaction in Afghanistan with the Greek myth of Cassandra, going beyond the conflict and questioning why it is humans are capable of ignoring other humans' suffering. This is laudatory--any non-fiction writer who can transcend the bounds of facts and figures to confront a philosophical problem is elevating the form to an art. Unfortun ...more
Colleen Clark
I have the idea I read this before, but maybe it's just been sitting on my shelves. In any case, in this reading I was less impressed than I thought I would be. Certainly, by now it is very dated.

This is the account of a trip Lessing and a few other women took to the Afghan refugee camps in Peshawar, Pakistan in Sept. 1986. The conditions in the camps were terrible; refugees from the fighting with the Russians (remember that!) were arriving daily; Peshawar was teeming with factions of Afghan fi
...more
Sylvia
Feb 25, 2015 Sylvia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: guerra, 2015

He leído muchos libros de este tema, pero este en concreto me pareció aburrido.
Con decir que me decepcionó el inicio con la historia de Cassandra...
Lo que reconozco es que describe la esencia del conflicto y abandono con el que viven las personas de Afganistán.
Solo por eso se salva de 1 estrella.

Calzean
It is outdated - but the first part "Her Long Hair Streaming Loose" on Cassandra and the failure to listen to warnings is brilliant. Her plea for Western help to assist Afghans fighting the Russian went unheard and, as we know, the resentment caused by this ignorance has caused untold tragedy. A book that should be more widely read.
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May 26, 2016
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Mar 15, 2016
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7728
Both of her parents were British: her father, who had been crippled in World War I, was a clerk in the Imperial Bank of Persia; her mother had been a nurse. In 1925, lured by the promise of getting rich through maize farming, the family moved to the British colony in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Like other women writers from southern African who did not graduate from high school (such as Oliv ...more
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