The Taliban Shuffle

The Taliban Shuffle
Author: Kim Barker
Pages: 302
ISBN: 9780307477385
Available:
Release: 2012
Editor: Anchor
Language: un

Explanation of the Book:

A wisecracking foreign correspondent recounts her experiences in Afghanistan and Pakistan while sharing cautionary observations about the region in its first post-Taliban years and the responsibilities of the U.S. and NATO.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Author: Kim Barker
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781101973127
Available:
Release: 2016
Editor: Anchor
Language: un

Explanation of the Book:

A wisecracking foreign correspondent recounts her experiences in Afghanistan and Pakistan while sharing cautionary observations about the region in its first post-Taliban years and the responsibilities of the U.S. and NATO.

No Good Men Among the Living

No Good Men Among the Living
Author: Anand Gopal
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781429945028
Available:
Release: 2014-04-29
Editor: Metropolitan Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Told through the lives of three Afghans, the stunning tale of how the United States had triumph in sight in Afghanistan—and then brought the Taliban back from the dead In a breathtaking chronicle, acclaimed journalist Anand Gopal traces in vivid detail the lives of three Afghans caught in America's war on terror. He follows a Taliban commander, who rises from scrawny teenager to leading insurgent; a US-backed warlord, who uses the American military to gain personal wealth and power; and a village housewife trapped between the two sides, who discovers the devastating cost of neutrality. Through their dramatic stories, Gopal shows that the Afghan war, so often regarded as a hopeless quagmire, could in fact have gone very differently. Top Taliban leaders actually tried to surrender within months of the US invasion, renouncing all political activity and submitting to the new government. Effectively, the Taliban ceased to exist—yet the Americans were unwilling to accept such a turnaround. Instead, driven by false intelligence from their allies and an unyielding mandate to fight terrorism, American forces continued to press the conflict, resurrecting the insurgency that persists to this day. With its intimate accounts of life in war-torn Afghanistan, Gopal's thoroughly original reporting lays bare the workings of America's longest war and the truth behind its prolonged agony. A heartbreaking story of mistakes and misdeeds, No Good Men Among the Living challenges our usual perceptions of the Afghan conflict, its victims, and its supposed winners.

The Longest War

The Longest War
Author: Peter L. Bergen
Pages: 496
ISBN: 9780743278942
Available:
Release: 2011-06-28
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A forefront expert on al Qaeda draws on his unique first-hand interviews with Osama bin Laden, top-level jihadists and Washington officials to offer insight into the war on terror from both sides. By the author of The Osama bin Laden I Know. Reprint.

The Wrong Enemy

The Wrong Enemy
Author: Carlotta Gall
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780544045682
Available:
Release: 2014-04-08
Editor: HMH
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A journalist with deep knowledge of the region provides “an enthralling and largely firsthand account of the war in Afghanistan” (Financial Times). Few reporters know as much about Afghanistan as Carlotta Gall. She was there in the 1990s after the Russians were driven out. She witnessed the early flourishing of radical Islam, imported from abroad, which caused so much local suffering. She was there right after 9/11, when US special forces helped the Northern Alliance drive the Taliban out of the north and then the south, fighting pitched battles and causing their enemies to flee underground and into Pakistan. Gall knows just how much this war has cost the Afghan people—and just how much damage can be traced to Pakistan and its duplicitous government and intelligence forces. Combining searing personal accounts of battles and betrayals with moving portraits of the ordinary Afghans who were caught up in the conflict for more than a decade, The Wrong Enemy is a sweeping account of a war brought by American leaders against an enemy they barely understood and could not truly engage.

Hangover Wisdom 100 Thoughts on the Taliban Shuffle

Hangover Wisdom  100 Thoughts on the Taliban Shuffle
Author: David Capper
Pages: 44
ISBN: 5458842960
Available:
Release: 2013-01
Editor: Lennex
Language: un

Explanation of the Book:

In this book, we have hand-picked the most sophisticated, unanticipated, absorbing (if not at times crackpot!), original and musing book reviews of "The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan." Don't say we didn't warn you: these reviews are known to shock with their unconventionality or intimacy. Some may be startled by their biting sincerity; others may be spellbound by their unbridled flights of fantasy. Don't buy this book if: 1. You don't have nerves of steel. 2. You expect to get pregnant in the next five minutes. 3. You've heard it all.

Soldier Girls

Soldier Girls
Author: Helen Thorpe
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9781451668124
Available:
Release: 2014-08-05
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“A raw, intimate look at the impact of combat and the healing power of friendship” (People): the lives of three women deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, and the effect of their military service on their personal lives and families—named a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly. “In the tradition of Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Richard Rhodes, and other masters of literary journalism, Soldier Girls is utterly absorbing, gorgeously written, and unforgettable” (The Boston Globe). Helen Thorpe follows the lives of three women over twelve years on their paths to the military, overseas to combat, and back home…and then overseas again for two of them. These women, who are quite different in every way, become friends, and we watch their interaction and also what happens when they are separated. We see their families, their lovers, their spouses, their children. We see them work extremely hard, deal with the attentions of men on base and in war zones, and struggle to stay connected to their families back home. We see some of them drink too much, have affairs, and react to the deaths of fellow soldiers. And we see what happens to one of them when the truck she is driving hits an explosive in the road, blowing it up. She survives, but her life may never be the same again. Deeply reported, beautifully written, and powerfully moving, Soldier Girls is “a breakthrough work...What Thorpe accomplishes in Soldier Girls is something far greater than describing the experience of women in the military. The book is a solid chunk of American history...Thorpe triumphs” (The New York Times Book Review).

Indian Voices

Indian Voices
Author: Alison Owings
Pages: 392
ISBN: 9780813550961
Available:
Release: 2011-02-28
Editor: Rutgers University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In Indian Voices, Alison Owings takes readers on a fresh journey across America, east to west, north to south, and around again. Owings's most recent oral history—engagingly written in a style that entertains and informs—documents what Native Americans say about themselves, their daily lives, and the world around them. Young and old from many tribal nations speak with candor, insight, and (unknown to many non-Natives) humor about what it is like to be a Native American in the twenty-first century. Through intimate interviews many also express their thoughts about the sometimes staggeringly ignorant, if often well-meaning, non-Natives they encounter—some who do not realize Native Americans still exist, much less that they speak English, have cell phones, use the Internet, and might attend powwows and power lunches. Indian Voices, an inspiring and important contribution to the literature about the original Americans, will make every reader rethink the past—and present—of the United States.

Imperial Life in the Emerald City

Imperial Life in the Emerald City
Author: Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780307265920
Available:
Release: 2006-09-19
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A National Book Award Finalist and New York Times Bestseller The Green Zone, Baghdad, Iraq, 2003: in this walled-off compound of swimming pools and luxurious amenities, Paul Bremer and his Coalition Provisional Authority set out to fashion a new, democratic Iraq. Staffed by idealistic aides chosen primarily for their views on issues such as abortion and capital punishment, the CPA spent the crucial first year of occupation pursuing goals that had little to do with the immediate needs of a postwar nation: flat taxes instead of electricity and deregulated health care instead of emergency medical supplies. In this acclaimed firsthand account, the former Baghdad bureau chief of The Washington Post gives us an intimate portrait of life inside this Oz-like bubble, which continued unaffected by the growing mayhem outside. This is a quietly devastating tale of imperial folly, and the definitive history of those early days when things went irrevocably wrong in Iraq.

A Rope and a Prayer

A Rope and a Prayer
Author: David Rohde,Kristen Mulvihill
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781101445396
Available:
Release: 2010-11-30
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

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 characterizes the militant Islam espoused by David's captors. In 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.

My Life with the Taliban

My Life with the Taliban
Author: Abdul Salam Zaeef
Pages: 360
ISBN: 9781849041522
Available:
Release: 2011-01-07
Editor: Hurst & Company Limited
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This is the autobiography of Abdul Salam Zaeef, a senior former member of the Taliban. His memoirs, translated from Pashto, are more than just a personal account of his extraordinary life. My Life with the Taliban offers a counter-narrative to the standard accounts of Afghanistan since 1979. Zaeef describes growing up in rural poverty in Kandahar province. Both of his parents died at an early age, and the Russian invasion of 1979 forced him to flee to Pakistan. He started fighting the jihad in 1983, during which time he was associated with many major figures in the anti-Soviet resistance, including the current Taliban head Mullah Mohammad Omar. After the war Zaeef returned to a quiet life in a small village in Kandahar, but chaos soon overwhelmed Afghanistan as factional fighting erupted after the Russians pulled out. Disgusted by the lawlessness that ensued, Zaeef was one among the former mujahidin who were closely involved in the discussions that led to the emergence of the Taliban, in 1994. Zaeef then details his Taliban career as civil servant and minister who negotiated with foreign oil companies as well as with Afghanistan's own resistance leader, Ahmed Shah Massoud. Zaeef was ambassador to Pakistan at the time of the 9/11 attacks, and his account discusses the strange "phoney war" period before the US-led intervention toppled the Taliban. In early 2002 Zaeef was handed over to American forces in Pakistan, notwithstanding his diplomatic status, and spent four and a half years in prison (including several years in Guantanamo) before being released without having been tried or charged with any offence. My Life with the Taliban offers a personal and privileged insight into the rural Pashtun village communities that are the Taliban's bedrock. It helps to explain what drives men like Zaeef to take up arms against the foreigners who are foolish enough to invade his homeland.

Afghanistan

Afghanistan
Author: Paula Bronstein
Pages: 228
ISBN: 147730939X
Available:
Release: 2016-06-07
Editor: University of Texas Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The Afghan people are standing at a crucial crossroads in history. Can their fragile democratic institutions survive the drawdown of US military support? Will Afghan women and girls be stripped of their modest gains in freedom and opportunity as the West loses interest in their plight? While the media have largely moved on from these stories, Paula Bronstein remains passionately committed to bearing witness to the lives of the Afghan people. In this powerful photo essay, she goes beyond war coverage to reveal the full complexity of daily life in what may be the world's most reported on yet least known country. Afghanistan: Between Hope and Fear presents a photographic portrait of this war-torn country's people across more than a decade. With empathy born of the challenges of being an American female photojournalist working in a conservative Islamic country, Bronstein gives voice to those Afghans, particularly women and children, rendered silent during the violent Taliban regime. She documents everything from the grave trials facing the country—human rights abuses against women, poverty and the aftermath of war, and heroin addiction, among them—to the stirrings of new hope, including elections, girls' education, and work and recreation. Fellow award-winning journalist Christina Lamb describes the gains that Afghan women have made since the overthrow of the Taliban, as well as the daunting obstacles they still face. An eloquent portrait of everyday life, Afghanistan: Between Hope and Fear is the most complete visual narrative history of the country currently in print.

War Reporting for Cowards

War Reporting for Cowards
Author: Chris Ayres
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781555845940
Available:
Release: 2007-12-01
Editor: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“Imagine George Costanza from Seinfeld being sent off to cover the Iraq War . . . Hilarious” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times). Chris Ayres is a small-town boy, a hypochondriac, and a neat freak with an anxiety disorder. Not exactly the picture of a war correspondent. But when his boss asks him if he would like to go to Iraq, he doesn’t have the guts to say no. After signing a one million dollar life-insurance policy, studying a tutorial on repairing severed limbs, and spending twenty thousand dollars on camping gear (only to find out that his bright yellow tent makes him a sitting duck), Ayres is embedded with a battalion of gung ho Marines who either shun him or threaten him when he files an unfavorable story. As time goes on, though, he begins to understand them (and his inexplicably enthusiastic fellow war reporters) more and more: Each night of terrifying combat brings, in the morning, something more visceral than he has ever experienced—the thrill of having won a fight for survival. A “heartbreakingly funny” memoir (Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead), War Reporting for Cowards tells, with “self-deprecating wit” (The New Yorker), the story of Iraq in a way that is extraordinarily honest, and bitterly hilarious. “Chris Ayres has invented a new genre: a rip-roaring tale of adventure and derring-don’t.” —Toby Young, author of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People “Darkly entertaining.” —Los Angeles Times “Ayres’s stories of life with Marines are gripping—in part because he’s the perfect neurotic foil.” —People

A Fort of Nine Towers

A Fort of Nine Towers
Author: Qais Akbar Omar
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780307362704
Available:
Release: 2013-04-16
Editor: Knopf Canada
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The surprising, stunning book that took the publishing world by storm: a coming-of-age memoir of unimaginable perils and unexpected joys, steeped in the rhythms of folk tales and poetry, that is as unforgettable as it is rare--a treasure for readers. Qais Akbar Omar was born in Kabul in a time of relative peace. Until he was 7, he lived with his father, a high school physics teacher, and mother, a bank manager, in the spacious, garden-filled compound his grandfather had built. Noisy with the laughter of his cousins (with whom they lived in the typical Afghan style), fragrant with the scent of roses and apple blossoms, and rich in shady, tucked-away spots where Qais and his grandfather sat and read, home was the idyllic centre of their quiet, comfortable life. But in the wake of the Russian withdrawal and the bloody civil conflict that erupted, his family was forced to flee and take refuge in the legendary Fort of Nine Towers, a centuries-old palace in the hills on the far side of Kabul. On a perilous trip home, Omar and his father were kidnapped, narrowly escaping, and the family fled again, his parents leading their 6 children on a remarkable, sometimes wondrous journey. Hiding inside the famous giant Bamiyan Buddhas sculpture, and among Kurchi herders, Omar cobbles together an education, learning the beautiful art of carpet-weaving from a deaf mute girl, which will become the family's means of support. Against a backdrop of uncertainty, violence and absurdity, young Qais Omar weaves together a story--and a self--that is complex, colourful, and profound.

In the Hands of the Taliban

In the Hands of the Taliban
Author: Yvonne Ridley
Pages: 300
ISBN: 9781909396708
Available:
Release: 2014-06-05
Editor: Robson
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Yvonne Ridley's terrifying 10 day detainment by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan struck a chord that continues to resonate around the world. At a time when the world was plunged into a state of unprecedented chaos and uncertainty following the terrorist atrocities in the US, Yvonne faced the ordeal of her life. Captured by the Taliban as she attempted to cross the Afghan border to report on the outbreak of war for the Sunday Express, Yvonne found her life hanging in the balance in the hands of the most reviled regime in the world. For Yvonne, an unexpected survival instinct kicked in that saw her face her captors not with fear, but with anger. Her courage and gutsiness, and that of her family, prompted the Taliban to release her, glad to be rid of such a so-called 'difficult' woman. This is Yvonne's full, true story. From her capture, to the ordeal she endured at the hands of the Taliban, to her eventual release; she offers a unique perspective into a way of life that remains a mystery to many. The friendships she formed with her fellow hostages, her feelings about her captors and their beliefs, and her discoveries -- many of which surprised and baffled her -- are all exclusively revealed in detail. Yvonne's story is a truly compelling and inspirational read.

The Journalist and the Murderer

The Journalist and the Murderer
Author: Janet Malcolm
Pages: 176
ISBN: 9780307797872
Available:
Release: 2011-06-22
Editor: Vintage
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A seminal work and examination of the psychopathology of journalism. Using a strange and unprecedented lawsuit as her larger-than-life example -- the lawsuit of Jeffrey MacDonald, a convicted murderer, against Joe McGinniss, the author of Fatal Vision, a book about the crime -- she delves into the always uneasy, sometimes tragic relationship that exists between journalist and subject. In Malcolm's view, neither journalist nor subject can avoid the moral impasse that is built into the journalistic situation. When the text first appeared, as a two-part article in The New Yorker, its thesis seemed so radical and its irony so pitiless that journalists across the country reacted as if stung. Her book is a work of journalism as well as an essay on journalism: it at once exemplifies and dissects its subject. In her interviews with the leading and subsidiary characters in the MacDonald-McGinniss case -- the principals, their lawyers, the members of the jury, and the various persons who testified as expert witnesses at the trial -- Malcolm is always aware of herself as a player in a game that, as she points out, she cannot lose. The journalist-subject encounter has always troubled journalists, but never before has it been looked at so unflinchingly and so ruefully. Hovering over the narrative -- and always on the edge of the reader's consciousness -- is the MacDonald murder case itself, which imparts to the book an atmosphere of anxiety and uncanniness. The Journalist and the Murderer derives from and reflects many of the dominant intellectual concerns of our time, and it will have a particular appeal for those who cherish the odd, the off-center, and the unsolved.

The Heart of War

The Heart of War
Author: Kathleen J. McInnis
Pages: 578
ISBN: 9781682616529
Available:
Release: 2018-09-25
Editor: Post Hill Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

N/A

I Lost My Love in Baghdad

I Lost My Love in Baghdad
Author: Michael Hastings
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781416561163
Available:
Release: 2008-04-08
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The “wrenching” (Rachel Maddow, The Rachel Maddow Show) first book by acclaimed journalist Michael Hastings (1980-2013), whose unflinching Rolling Stone article “Runaway General” ended the military career of General Stanley A. McChrystal. At age twenty-five, Michael Hastings arrived in Baghdad to cover the war in Iraq for Newsweek. He had at his disposal a little Hemingway romanticism and all the apparatus of a twenty-first-century reporter -- cell phones, high-speed Internet access, digital video cameras, fixers, drivers, guards, translators. In startling detail, he describes the chaos, the violence, the never-ending threats of bomb and mortar attacks, the front lines that can be a half mile from the Green Zone, that can be anywhere. This is a new kind of war: private security companies follow their own rules or lack thereof; soldiers in combat get instant messages from their girlfriends and families; members of the Louisiana National Guard watch Katrina's decimation of their city on a TV in the barracks. Back in New York, Hastings had fallen in love with Andi Parhamovich, a young idealist who worked for Air America. A year into their courtship, Andi followed Michael to Iraq, taking a job with the National Democratic Institute. Their war-zone romance is another window into life in Baghdad. They call each other pet names; they make plans for the future; they fight, usually because each is fearful for the other's safety; and they try to figure out how to get together, when it means putting bodyguards and drivers in jeopardy.Then Andi goes on a dangerous mission for her new employer -- a meeting at the Iraqi Islamic Party headquarters that ends in catastrophe. Searing, unflinching, and revelatory, I Lost My Love in Baghdad is both a raw, brave, brilliantly observed account of the war and a heartbreaking story of one life lost to it.

The Bookseller of Kabul

The Bookseller of Kabul
Author: Asne Seierstad
Pages: 297
ISBN: 0316159417
Available:
Release: 2004-10-26
Editor: Back Bay Books
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The Norwegian journalist provides a portrait of a committed Muslim man and his family living in post-Taliban Kabul, Afghanistan.

Little America

Little America
Author: Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781408831205
Available:
Release: 2013
Editor: A&C Black
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City (winner of the 2007 Samuel Johnson Prize) now gives us the startling, behind-the-scenes story of the struggle between President Obama and the US military to remake Afghanistan.