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War at the Top Of The World : The Struggle for Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Tibet

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  110 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
In this stunning read, veteran foreign correspondent Eric Margolis presents a revelatory history of the complicated and volatile conflicts that entangle one of the most beautiful and remote parts of the world.
Hardcover, 250 pages
Published February 10th 2000 by Routledge (first published 1999)
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Lumumba Shakur
Apr 09, 2009 Lumumba Shakur rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-events
Mr. Margolis' style of interweaving his journalistic insights into an ongoing diary-style narrative made this an easy and enjoyable read. He provides a first-hand observers account into the politics of a region of the world that seems destined to be a perpetual hot-spot of geopolitical activity. In a time when punditry has been mistaken for journalism, this is a must-read for anyone interested South-east Asian affairs, including the colonial adventure in Afghanistan that is often mistaken as def ...more
ok, this book is an ODD DUCK to say the very least; first things first this book is technically 4 books:
1) a pretty dry and surprisingly accurate work on the geopolitics of why nations (especially ones with endemic povery) would sacrifice enormous numbers of young men & would tie up force deployments to land that has little inherent value (but immense strategic importance) and a pretry good primer on the operations of military forces that would shift this balance of power & some probable
Andy Selters
Oct 13, 2015 Andy Selters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of juicy insider-like information of geo-politicaln intrigue, covering the vast territory between Iran and Afghanistan through Kashmir and into Tibet. Author Margolis shows how there's no honorable nation operating in this region, including the US. The book is a bit dramatized, though the risks of even nuclear conflict are indeed real. The Pakistan-India conflict is especially interesting to me, as I've been to both countries and near their border many times. I was a bit disappointed to see ...more
Feb 19, 2011 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic review of the geopolitical challenges in South Asia. Margolis's first hand accounts and experiences in the region make him the perfect person to write such a book.
Oct 20, 2009 Pete rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Always fascinating, if sometimes frustrating and inconsistent. Margolis is a talented writer and he does a fine job of summarizing the various conflicts that have erupted and might explode in the future in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Tibet, Burma, and other nations straddling the roof of the world. The inconsistencies in tone are often frustrating, however. It's clear that colonial powers from Britain to Russia to China to the US are responsible for much of the strife in the region. However, it's a bi ...more
Mar 04, 2009 Bruce rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This work is a combination, travelogue, history, and political commentary of the countries in the Himalayas and the plateaus surrounding them. The first country Margolis discusses is Afghanistan. Margolis notes that Russia’s grand strategy since Ivan the Terrible has been to gain warm water ports in the south. He tells of his foreboding on meeting with several Afghan mujahid in Toronto when they were on a money raising tour in the 1980s. They were faith based warriors in ‘the Secret War’ the US ...more
Tariq Mahmood
Apr 24, 2013 Tariq Mahmood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, pakistan, india
Great book, especially if you are a Pakistani apologist. Actually, I think this book should be on the textbook list in Pakistan. This is the second book I have read by a Canadian author and presents an interesting angle for readers of the English language who are looking for a different perspective form the normal stereotyping dominant Anglo-Saxon American-British-Australian nexus narrative. Canadian's seem to challenge the Anglo-saxon narrative and present a much more balanced perspective on th ...more
Jun 07, 2012 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book in some ways serves as an up-date to Robert Kaplan's Soldiers of God. However the scope is far larger. Margolis’ book brings the story of Afghanistan up-to-date to the rise of the Taliban. (He also deals with Osama bin Laden and his activities up to the attacks on US Embassies in Eastern Africa.)

He however goes beyond the chaos in Afghanistan to discuss the instability in Pakistan and how it could expand the problems that have already come to a head in Afghanistan. The book is discuss
Jan 14, 2008 Joe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book provides excellent insight into some of the personalities involved in the Afghan-Russian war in the 1980's, including those that are currently involved on both sides of the current war on terror. This is not an un-biased book, it is very much from the author's narrow point of view and he spends a lot of time ..., both in the struggle against the Russians, the Indians, and the American forces today.
The book is worth reading to gain some idea of the way of life in South Asia, but not so
Christine H
Mar 28, 2015 Christine H rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend!
Dec 18, 2007 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: political science experts
I got this as a gift from a boss when I graduated high school (he knew I was studying journalism). It took me almost six years to read it, if that gives you any idea how much this particular subject inspired me.

It was helpful in understanding a lot of the historical context for what's happening now in that region, but definitely contained more information than I will ever need.

Also, pretty dryly written. The small tidbits of personal experience on the part of the author are like oases in a deser
Another magnificent Margolis who is expert on war issues. He has spent 10 years in Afpak during Soviet war. His mother who covered whole 48 Israel-Palestine war in 50s and her son had covered whole war of soviet and he also went to Kashmir to cover K-war. It is also a brilliant book recommend to all who wanna seek sum good words about Afghanistan and Indian atrocities in Kashmir.
Jul 07, 2007 Noura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone with a desire to really learn
Important book to read to see the tangled connections in international politics in this part of the world...particularly noteworthy is that the Russians bombed themselves and framed the chechens.
Dec 22, 2014 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must read if you want to try and get a handle on what the fuss is about in and abut afghanistan
Nov 12, 2009 Leila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant political analysis! Margolis is mesmerizing.
Nov 26, 2008 Kelsey marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I'll go back to India. Dharamshala here I come!
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