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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  97 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Fifteen years ago, southern Afghanistan was in even greater chaos than it is now. The Russians, who had occupied the country throughout the 1980s, were long gone. The disparate ethnic and religious leaders who had united to eject the invaders - the famous mujaheddin - were at each others' throats. For the rural poor of Kandahar province, life was almost impossible.

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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 19th 2010 by Bantam Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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This is an important book that deserves readership, consideration, and discussion.

Its most important contribution is a plea for Westerners to realize that the Taliban are *not* the same as al-Qaida! Al-Qaida is an extreme movement of Wahabi Islam, itself the most conservative sect of Islam. Its mission is indeed to take the fight of "jihad" to the West's doorstep. The Taliban, on the other hand, are a movement of largely Pashtun Sunni Muslims, whose two goals have ever only been the expulsion of...more
Fergusson gives a good analysis about the Taliban in general. He makes excellent points where the western strategy failed and why the conflict is still ongoing. Many misconceptions the west has established are corrected and potential alternatives are drawn as to how the Taliban could have rather been engaged then fought.
Give readers another view of Taliban. maybe other might see this as justification of world misunderstanding of them. But what i see is, this book show us how Afghani people life their live. we cant see this thing from our morale point of view. To execute people in public,to amputate hand of a thief in public. These kind of punishment might seem harsh in our "peaceful environment". but in Afghan where one day mob can invade your house and do terrible thing to your family, this kind of punishment...more
Michael Flanagan
James Fergusson brings us a refreshingly different view on the Taliban and their history and role in Afghanistan. A well researched book debunking some of the common myth's associated with the Taliban.

After reading this book I feel I have a much better understanding of Afghansitan and the issues facing the troops on the ground. I take my hat off to the author for a gutsy realistice look at the Taliban.
Extremly intelligent and comprehensive look at what the Taliban are, what the misconceptions about them are and why they are reemerging in Afghanistan. The book is very fair and shows the good and bad sides of the Taliban, the mistakes of the US and the other troopsending countries in Afghanistan and offers solutions on how the conflicts MIGHT be solved.
Overall an excellent book.
Aravindh Sundaragopalan
This gives a different perspective of the taliban community itself. More like seeing LTTE from their perspective.One thing i learnt from this book, It is all about perspective in a war. Nobody is right or wrong..
Good read to begin with but after a while it gets really overwhelming with data.
I enjoyed this book. Very thorough look at their history and origins. Does seem biased towards the taliban at times. Use in conjunction with other similar history books to maintain a balanced position.
Karen Ikins
Understanding is more powerful than hate. I felt a reasonable, if condensed version of the etiology of our boogeymen. It does not seem shocking to me that the Taliban ascended to power with this background.
Najam Saqib
This is an excellent book which gives real insight into Afghan dynamics. It is a worth reading book. James Fergusson has an amazing and attractive writing style. One of best books I have read.
Anas Sijabat
Revealing a lot of myths about Taliban through thorough explanations, statistics, and data, this book totally makes me fall in love with Taliban issue, this book is really worth 4 stars.
Nothing spectacular... argues passionately that the taliban are misunderstood and there's no way out of Afghanistan unless serious negotiations are held with them.
Kamran syed
James Ferguson seems to have carried out a detail research and thorough analysis and has a deep study of Afg
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