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Extended Audio Sample The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan after the Taliban, by Sarah Chayes Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (307 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sarah Chayes Narrator: Renée Raudman Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A National Public Radio reporter covering the last stand of the Taliban in their home base of Kandahar in Afghanistan’s southern borderland, Sarah Chayes became deeply immersed in the unfolding drama of the attempt to rebuild a broken nation at the crossroads of the world’s destiny. In 2002 she left reporting to help turn the country’s fortunes, accepting a job running a nonprofit founded by President Hamid Karzai’s brother. With remarkable access to leading players in the postwar government, Chayes witnessed a tragic story unfold—the perverse turn of events whereby the U.S. government and armed forces allowed and abetted the return to power of corrupt militia commanders to the country, as well as the reinfiltration of bands of Taliban forces supported by U.S. ally Pakistan. This is an eyeopening chronicle that highlights the often infuriating realities of a vital front in the war on terror, exposing deeper, fundamental problems with current U.S. strategy.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sarah Chayes has produced a passionate, involving, important work of journalism.”

    Steve Coll, Pulitzer–Prize-winning author of Ghost Wars

  • “Absorbing reading—necessary, even.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “The most gripping, sensitive, funny, perceptive…beautifully written book you will ever read on Afghanistan, US policy, and nation building.”

    Ahmed Rashid

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Nikolai | 2/18/2014

    " Excellent overview of Afghanistan's history and the emergence of the post-Taliban government. A must read for anyone interested in Afghanistan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Whitney | 2/18/2014

    " This book is, similar to "Sewing Circles of Herat," is a book by a white female reporter about her experiences in Afghanistan, but what a difference! Where Christina Lamb gives her superficial impressions, here Sarah Chayes goes deep into historical analysis and the subtleties of the political and military players after the US invasion and comes out the other side with this extremely satisfying, dense and nuanced book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kevin Bell | 2/15/2014

    " She has slightly out of date information for those looking for a recent story, but she gets the complexity level right. Also a lot of the allegations of gross incompetence are pretty accurate. Pay careful attention to what she says about Pakistan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Meredith Atkinson | 2/13/2014

    " Fascinating read, but contains a lot more historical background than expected--which made it harder to plough through. Clearly leaves reader feeling that America has really messed up in Afghanistan and it cannot be corrected. "

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