A brilliant and insightful history and analysis!
by ryefish on June 23, 2007Stephen Tanner’s book “Afghanistan: A Military History from Alexander the Great to the Fall of the Taliban,” is an exciting and brilliantly compiled piece of work that should well serve Western readers.
In one of the first (if not “the” first) books on the subject to follow the September 11th attacks, Tanner’s work navigates the ancient tribes and regional peoples whose contributions are indelible to Afghan culture and history.
While the early chapters of the book are a mesmerizing whirlwind of compressed Afghan history. They feature a confounding register of tribes, leaders and regions, that undoubtedly would require volumes of additional material to effectively cover, but Tanner aptly negotiates the early history to focus on definitive events in Afghan history and the general Afghan psyche or experience, if there is such a thing.
Tanner’s more contemporary material is drawn from more reliable, or at least more Occidental sources, and covers the British and Russian experience in Afghanistan noticeably more in-depth. The mutual connections Tanner makes between Afghanistan and Switzerland is brilliant and sets the stage for his conclusion.
Tanner’s analysis of the American experience in Afghanistan is not exhaustive, but thorough. Given the subsequent events since the book’s publication, it would not be difficult to fill in any holes with supplemental material from several sources.
Afghanistan itself, exists as a profound storehouse and contributor to world culture The future of the world’s destiny is no less shaped by this region once bisecting East and West; now bisecting past and present, than it has been throughout time.
Overall, “Afghanistan: A Military History from Alexander the Great to the Fall of the Taliban” is an exceptional look at a subject too many Americans can claim ignorance, if only by virtue of geography.
Perhaps best of all, it is written with hope, rather than writing off the long suffering Afghan people.
REVIEW EVERY BOOK YOU READ, READER OPINIONS ARE WELL SERVED BY THE PHENOMENON IF THE INTERNET!
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