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4.36 out of 54.36 out of 54.36 out of 54.36 out of 54.36 out of 5 4.36 (25 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ahmed Rashid Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2013 ISBN: 9781482954548
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In this enormously insightful book, correspondent Ahmed Rashid brings the shadowy world of the Taliban, the world’s most extreme and radical Islamic organization, into sharp focus. He explains the Taliban’s rise to power; its impact on Afghanistan, the Middle East, and Central Asia; its role in oil and gas company decisions; and the effects of changing American attitudes toward the Taliban. He also describes the new face of Islamic fundamentalism and explains why Afghanistan has become the world center for international terrorism.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The broader story here is powerful…A great deal from Mr. Rashid’s book [is] about the nature of local Central Asian politics and the consequences of interference by outside powers…Valuable and informative work.”

    New York Times

  • “Anyone contemplating new adventures in Afghanistan—whether to save its women from persecution, rescue the state from further fragmentation, or save themselves from terrorist backlash—might first consult Rashid’s book.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “An excellent political and historical account of the movement’s rise to power.”

    Nation

  • “Rashid marshals the vast amount of information he has accumulated over decades of covering the area into a long, sad story and tells it with finesse. His book is a gripping account of one of the horror stories of post–Cold War politics.”

    Salon

  • “Rashid…brings urgency to a conflict in Central Asia of which most Americans and many Europeans are mostly ignorant. He reveals a nation with a rich culture of contradictions and complexities that have never been fathomed by its numerous conquerors.”

    Booklist

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/8/2014

    " This book is an encyclopedia of information regarding the political history of Afghanistan and more specifically the Taliban. Unfortunately, it tends to read like an encyclopedia, but overall it's an amazing resource for understanding the plight of the Afghan people and the differences between Islam and fundamentalism. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Josh | 1/30/2014

    " Depressing history, but the dude has insight that is hard to come by in a very closed region. His expertise and time as a journalist in the region gives him credibility. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kerry | 1/28/2014

    " Essential reading for anybody following events in Afghanistan. Ahmed Rashid is just the man to make sense of the Taliban for those not from the region. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marcus | 1/27/2014

    " This book is immensly impressive on so many levels. First and foremost, I am amazed by author's ability to deconstruct an incredibly complex conflict and present a clear and consist picture of a chain of events that has managed to baffle best and brightest politicians and media personalities for almost three decades. What's even more important, Mr. Rashid manages to do that while maintaining strict objectivity and neutrality. At the time when Afghanistan, phenomenon of Islamic extremism and steps that are taken to counter it may very well be the most polarising political issue of our time, author's absolutely unbiased presentation is in itself an achievement worth unreserved prise. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in going beyond the superficial and often partisan mainstream media coverage of what is going on in Afghanistan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ali Ahmadi | 1/15/2014

    " Read this book in Persian back in 1999. An excellent account of the Taliban before it became popular to write books about them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg | 1/15/2014

    " One of the definitive books on the Taliban and their rise to power, by the foremost Pakistan journalist, Ahmed Rashid, It is unfortunate that this book was not read or known about by anyone before 9/11. Heavy reading, not to be read in one sitting, as it is loaded with detail and very specific information about the region of Pakistan and Afghanistan in the 1980-late 1990s. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave Clark | 1/13/2014

    " Ahmed Rashid captures the complexity and chaos of Afghanistan. If you want to know more about the development of events within Afghanistan and get a deeper understanding of global terrorism and its facilitators, then this book should be at the top of your reading list. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Doug | 1/3/2014

    " I bought and read this book almost immediately after 9/11. Excellent book and still relevant. Amazingly, it was published and only became available in Thailand shortly before 9/11. It think all the copies in Thailand were exhausted within 72 hours of 9/11. Still a classic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Morgan | 12/31/2013

    " Written pre-9/11. Great history of how the Taliban emerged and the struggle for power in Central Asia. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 12/30/2013

    " Very very informative, very technical, not an easy read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tara | 12/29/2013

    " History of the Taliban in Afghanistan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chetan tekur | 12/17/2013

    " It is pedantic and is not up to date but still is very insightful about how Taliban came to Power in Afghanistan and why they just did not fit in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Intikhab | 12/10/2013

    " A profound book. It provides a good sense of how Taliban came into being, how Washington initially tried to woe it, what role Pakistan played in its creation, and how ethnic strife played a crucial role in bringing Pashtun warriors close to form the Taliban. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rani | 12/31/2012

    " wow, very informative history of afghanistan government and upheaval. It is thorough enough to be a course book, but accessibly written enough for the common reader with an interest in Afghanistan and the middle East. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abduljabbar | 7/28/2011

    " best book on Taliban movement. The author has included minutest of details about the background, rising, power structure, support base, local dynamics...........etc about the Taliban. all encompassing "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Van | 1/22/2011

    " The most difficult part about this book is that you can't say everything at once. That's what you would need, it seems, to begin to understand the politics of Central Asia. That is to say, you would need dialectics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 7/29/2008

    " A classic overview of the Taliban movement. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter | 3/1/2008

    " very interesting.. Allowed me to understand the people and their beliefs much more. No wonder their pissed off. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolyn S-P | 11/6/2007

    " Good background of the history of Afghanistan and the Taliban's rise to power. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Delana Thompson | 8/29/2006

    " This thorough history and insight into the culture of the Taliban in Afghanistan is a must read for anyone interested in world politics. Captivating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dwain | 8/7/2005

    " Very thorough introduction to the Taliban, although somewhat dry in many places. Contains two chapters on oil prospecting in Afghanistan that seemed very long and could have easily been cut down to one chapter. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hillary | 1/5/2005

    " This is a quick read and a great look into the origins and rise of the Taliban. It also covers a brief history of modern-day Afghanistan, U.S. involvement since the Soviet invasion during the 1980's, and the mistakes that were made which paved the way for a Taliban takeover. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 4ZZZ | 9/1/2004

    " Fascinating. I could not put this book down and would consider it a must read for anyone who has an interest as to the rise of the Taliban and the consequences of the actions of the super powers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill | 1/26/2004

    " Fascinating, more of a history on Afganistan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sabah | 11/20/2002

    " The best book to understanding how this group came into existence. A detailed journalistic account into the Soviet influence, hidden Saudi connections, US & Pakistani money into the complex rise and rule of the Taliban. "

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About the Author
Author Ahmed RashidAhmed Rashid is a Pakistani journalist based in Lahore who writes for The Washington Post, Daily Telegraph (London), the International Herald Tribune, The New York Review of Books, BBC Online, and The Nation. His previous books include Jihad, Taliban, and The Resurgence of Central Asia. He appears regularly on NPR, CNN, and the BBC World Service.
About the Narrator

Wanda McCaddon (a.k.a. Nadia May or Donada Peters) has narrated well over six hundred titles for major audiobook publishers, has earned numerous Earphones Awards, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine.