The compelling and insightful account of a New York Times reporter's abduction by the Taliban, and his wife's struggle to free him.
Invited to an interview by a Taliban commander, New York Times
reporter David Rohde and two Afghan colleagues were kidnapped in
November 2008 and spirited to the tribal areas of Pakistan. For the next
seven months, they lived in an alternate reality, ruled by jihadists,
in which paranoia, conspiracy theories, and shifting alliances abounded.
Held in bustling towns, they found that Pakistan's powerful military
turned a blind eye to a sprawling Taliban ministate that trained suicide
bombers, plotted terrorist attacks, and helped shelter Osama bin Laden.
In New York, David's wife of two months, Kristen Mulvihill, his family, and The New York Times
struggled to navigate the labyrinth of issues that confront the
relatives of hostages. Their methodical, Western approach made little
impact on the complex mix of cruelty, irrationality, and criminality
that characterized the militant Islam espoused by David's captors.
the end, a stolen piece of rope and a prayer ended the captivity. The
experience tested and strengthened Mulvihill and Rohde’s relationship
and exposed the failures of American effort in the region. The tale of
those seven months is at once a love story and a reflection of the great
cultural divide—and challenge—of our time.
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