Valerie's Reviews > Afghanistan

Afghanistan by Louis Dupree
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's review
Feb 07, 13

bookshelves: 2012-14-washington, central-asia, histories
Read on February 06, 2013

To the many, many folks out there who have this book listed on their 'to-read' list (seems to be more than those who have read it), my advice: skim this book. Skip through and read the sections that interest you. Full of worthwhile insights, it is more encyclopedia than narrative, so lends itself well to dipping into at the points that intrigue you. Nomadic cooking techniques? Check. Detailed accounts of the early constitutional experiment undertaken by the king? Check. There's a litle bit for all interests, and sometimes just a bit too little on each topic. But the photos alone are worth a visit to your library to find a copy. The history sections, which account for the bulk of the 400 pages, are in fact uneven, as Dupree casually mixes opinion with sometimes arcane historical detail--an example of the kind of wonderfully/frustratingly impressionistic scholarship that no scholar could get away with anymore. Dupree's book also functions as a fascinating snapshot of the country just before it all fell completely apart.

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