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The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan
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July 2016: Biography Memoir > The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Kim Barker -3.5 stars rounded to 4.

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Booknblues | 6658 comments Kim Barker's The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan offers an on the spot journalist's perspective of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ms Barker became the correspondent for the Chicago Tribune in Afghanistan at the beginning of the war and was able to provide some keen insights about what went wrong.

We can see how lack of cultural understanding and respect led to blunders in planning and diplomacy. It seems however well intentioned the western forces were that they could never reach their fullest potentials despite the money spent. Ms Barker went a bit native and seem to understand the culture quite well. She spent time embedded with the army, but also got to know many Afghanis . Barker spent much time driving around Kabul, but found her scariest moment there when embedded with the army driving around in a Humvee.

I found her time in Pakistan equally insightful.

While The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan was both insightful and amusing it sometimes fell short for me in that it seemed a bit forced. Ms Barker often felt just too cute and too funny .


message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6671 comments Sounds like a great topic idea . . .did you feel like you learned a lot that you didn't already know from other media about The Taliban?


Booknblues | 6658 comments Anita wrote: "Sounds like a great topic idea . . .did you feel like you learned a lot that you didn't already know from other media about The Taliban?"

I don't think that I learned more about the Taliban as she didn't really try to see them after one time, in which she decided it was way to dangerous. She did communicate through phones and emails. One of her friends and his fixer were kidnapped and it was pretty traumatic.

I got quite a bit of insight in to Pakistani politics.


message 4: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6671 comments Hmmm, well it does sound interesting regardless . . .I don't know much about Pakistani politics.


Booknblues | 6658 comments Booknblues wrote: "Anita wrote: "Sounds like a great topic idea . . .did you feel like you learned a lot that you didn't already know from other media about The Taliban?"

I don't think that I learned more about the ..."


It is interesting and for those that like to read books before seeing the movie, Tina Fey stars in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Tango was the code word for Taliban, because all the journalists assumed that their phones were tapped.


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