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To Afghanistan and Back: A Graphic Travelogue

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  121 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Introduction by Bill Maher. When U.S. bombs started raining on the Taliban, Rall jumped on a plane straight to the war zone to get the real story for himself. Featuring his Village Voice articles and a graphic novel.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by NBM Publishing (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Ryan Mishap
Another graphic from another war zone. Rall, the cartoonist and writer, has long been involved and interested in the “stan” region. In 2001, he traveled to Taloqan, Afghanistan as the so-called Northern Alliance advanced against the Taliban with U.S. support. In graphic form and in essays, he recounts the boredom, fear, violence, and confusion of life on the ground. While the personal story provides immediacy and a glimpse of a small piece, the essays and articles give a wider look at the whole— ...more
Alex Taylor
Mar 11, 2010 Alex Taylor rated it really liked it
A collection of comics telling the story of Rall's trip to Afghanistan in 2001 bookended by his dispatches from the front. I wish I and everyone else had read this in 2002. It's one person's perspective, but Rall actually went and lived on the ground at the beginning of our stay. The most striking thing was the extent to which the fall of the Taliban was mostly just a trip to the barbershop. A quick read and a clear picture of the day-to-day experience there.
Robert
Feb 04, 2014 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Rall may be skeptical about finding The Truth, he does occasionally fall prey to overgeneralizing about the politics of Afghanistan. For example, early in the book he argues that clumsy American attempts to suck all the oil out of the Central Asian region without paying off the locals was, along with US policy on Israel, the main reason for the 9-11 attacks. There is quite a lot of information that has come to light since then that leads me to view this argument as a gross oversimplificati ...more
Raina
Collects the works of Ted Rall, an awardwinning journalist and comic artist, surrounding his assignment to Afghanistan shortly after 9/11. The book is split into three parts.

The first part felt like op-ed pieces covering the politics and drama regarding the middle east shortly after 9/11. This part I found difficult to get through, partially because all of the information was so current and is now so dated. I haven't followed these issues too closely, so I often had a hard time remembering what
...more
Matthew
This book by Ted Rall, comics artist (“Tom Tomorrow”) and journalist (The Village Voice) records his experiences in Afghanistan during the U.S. bombing aimed to overthrow the Taliban. (He left for Afghanistan pretty much as soon as the air war started.) As Rall has frequently visited and commented on Central Asia, the book is not as odd as it sounds. It includes columns he wrote for The Village Voice, photographs, and a graphic novel. The organization of the book suffers, as the editor did not b ...more
Jim
May 13, 2012 Jim rated it liked it
I found Rall to be a rather acerbic observer of what was happening on the ground at the beginning of the Afghanistan invasion. Given what was happening, his restraint was remarkable. I'd be a liar if I called this an easy read. It's easy in terms of format; it's difficult in terms of subject matter and cognitive process. You can't dismiss Rall as a liberal, because he's simply not; you can't dismiss him as a Conservative (note the capital C) because he's not a flag-waving rubber stamp for Americ ...more
Colleen
Oct 24, 2007 Colleen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who still cares about the Afghanistan war, journalists
It's an excellent journalistic memoir of the Afghanistan war, from Rall's time there in 2001. Written so early on, and published so quickly, it's not as polished as it could be, but it trades that for a tangible reading experience of what it was like to be there, both as a visiting journalist and as an Afghan. Rall also does a good job of explaining the politics of central Asia, and how US decisions have impacted the country, and Muslim world. Even if you don't agree with him on everything, it's ...more
Bryanzk
we need truth
SB
Mar 03, 2016 SB rated it it was amazing
The great mix of text & graphics keep things interesting! Expresses a unique perspective which is refreshing.
Adrian Nieto
May 23, 2012 Adrian Nieto rated it really liked it
Un libro que mezcla articulos del autor en previos periodicos (yo lo conozco por su trabajo freelance en MAD), acerca de su viaje como reportero durante la guerra de Afghanistan. Ted cuenta su version de la historia, como la ve. Desde sus problemas para conseguir casa, agua potable, electricidad, hasta la vida diaria que lleva la gente afgani. Un libro recomendable, mas para leer una tarde como curiosidad, un tema serio, tratado de manera casual.
Joseph Young
Apr 06, 2014 Joseph Young rated it liked it
Neat perspective of a journalist's view in covering the war in Afghanistan. Rall attempts to clear away all of the spin and show the issues for what they are, also injecting a parallel story of the struggle to report and survive as a reporter in Afghanistan.
Maddsurgeon
Jan 25, 2011 Maddsurgeon rated it really liked it
Frightening and infuriating, but a good read. Cartoonist Ted Rall goes behind the lines to see what the war in Afghanistan if you're not (as was, say, the television news) in bed with the Northern Alliance. Distressing and terrifying even in its moments of biting criticism and gallows humor, this one is a must-read for anyone who's sick of the media glossing American imperialism even after the effects of it blew up in our face.
Bryan
Let's see, Pat Tillman is a murderous racist who's an "idiot" and "sap." The 911 widows didn't care that their husbands died since they got monetary settlments. Rice is the President's "house nigga."

Oh, and maybe we should've been easier on the Columbine killers because, after all, they killed bullies.
Christine
May 05, 2008 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book should be essential reading for any student graduating from high school in the United States. I am much more likely to trust what someone who has traveled all over Central Asia (before and after 9/11) has to say about Afghanistan than what the news channels or the government say.
Joe
Jan 26, 2011 Joe rated it really liked it
Behind the scenes look at the war on the poorest country on earth by the richest from an un-embedded journalist's perspective. Some enlightening tidbits in here. For example, I had no idea about the rate of defection from Taliban to Northern Alliance and back again.
Peacegal
Dec 26, 2012 Peacegal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating book, straightforward and grim, marred only by some unfortunate typos. To Afghanistan and Back much more accurately captures my feelings during this "joyous" season than that which is usually offered up.
Charlie Trotter
A lot of people chafe on Ted Rall's editorial cartoon commentary. At times, in his daily comics, he is as rough as a cob. However, his comic account of his time in Afghanistan, is compelling. I recommend checking it out from your library.
Anthony
Mar 31, 2008 Anthony rated it it was amazing

Rall is an incredible satirist and his experience in the Middle East is growing year-to-year. It's hard to imagine that a political cartoonist would go to these lengths to give himself perspective. Great read!
Jason
Jul 26, 2013 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
One of the best books about the early days of the war in Afghanistan. Really funny as well.
B
Oct 13, 2008 B rated it liked it
958.104 Prose and graphic art about journalists in Afghanistan during the war.
Joette
Jan 16, 2009 Joette rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, usual for me and graphic novels
Anne
Very biased, very political. Not my type of book.
Zohra Star
Aug 19, 2007 Zohra Star marked it as to-read
Part of my latest interest in graphic novels.
Ryan
Nov 08, 2007 Ryan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: dystopia fans
disturbing stuff..
A S
A S marked it as to-read
May 18, 2016
Julia Ghassemi
Julia Ghassemi rated it it was ok
May 17, 2016
All Graphic
All Graphic marked it as to-read
May 16, 2016
Melanie
Melanie rated it really liked it
May 05, 2016
Aidan
Aidan marked it as to-read
Apr 25, 2016
James McGovern
James McGovern marked it as to-read
Mar 23, 2016
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American columnist, syndicated editorial cartoonist, and author.

His political cartoons often appear in a multi-panel comic-strip format and frequently blend comic-strip and editorial-cartoon conventions.

The cartoons appear in approximately 100 newspapers around the United States. He is President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.

Rall is critical about the foreign policy of the
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