Amin Saikal provides a new approach to understanding a region at the center of international attention. Pushed to the forefront of world politics by the Soviet invasion of 1979, followed by murderous civil war in the 1980s, and then the establishment of the Taliban regime that resulted in American intervention following the catastrophe of September 11th, Afghanistan’s history is a complex one.
Saikal seeks to answer why Afghanistan’s course of development has been so turbulent and why it remains so vulnerable to domestic instability, foreign intervention and ideological extremism. He argues that this was largely due to rivalries stemming from a series of dynastic alliances within the successive royal families from the end of the eighteenth century to the pro-Communist coup of April 1978. Afghanistan: Tribal Nation is an important book that serves the needs of growing numbers of people who seek to understand the history and political heritage of this troubled country.
Why does Afghanistan remain so vulnerable to domestic instability, foreign intervention and ideological extremism? Amin Saikal provides us with deep understanding of this troubled country that grounds Afghanistan’s problems in rivalries stemming from a series of dynastic alliances within the successive royal families from the end of the eighteenth century to the pro-Communist coup of 1978. This is the definitive study of Afghanistan with much prospect looking forward.
Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival by Amin Saikal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow, what an excellent, well-written, high-impact, detailed account in recognition of Afghanistan. I’d recommend for anyone. Lots of historic review and speculative thought looking onward. Lots of discuss points for book clubs.
This is an accessible, sincere look of both inner and outer perspective of both Afghan people and Afghanistan as nation-state.
The context, historically from timeline of events, observation, rationale, commentary, is all carefully curated to tell the more complete story. From traditional to progressive. What is visionary to ideal. Preservation yet as described from directional and shared yearning for national cohesion, stability, progress, and independence, everything in between.
It covers internal and external factions, foreign and domestic relations, intent and outcome. Policy, occupation, militarization, reformation, adaptation, along with leadership evaluation from strength and favorable to divided, oppositional viewpoints including a deeper dive into values and beliefs, culture, community, worldviews, and personhood.
Very nice in-depth telling. Well-organized timeline of events. Transitions from chronological and topical with deftness. Open and honest. Captures intent, whether favorable or unfavorable consequence. Critique and telling of deeper story showing examples of ease and obstacles.
There is so much contained in this book. I will look forward to more.
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