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Above the Din of War: Afghans Speak About Their Lives, Their Country, and Their Future—and Why America Should Listen Hardcover – April 1, 2013

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (April 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161374515X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613745151
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,389,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Though Afghanistan is no longer in the headlines the way it was a decade ago, journalist Eichstaedt offers a passionate argument for why the plight of the Afghan people should have the world’s attention. When he first visited the country, in 2004, Eichstaedt was impressed by how hopeful the Afghan people were in the wake of the Taliban’s expulsion, but when he returned in 2010, he found the country in chaos once again. Hamid Karzai’s government is largely ineffective in the more rural areas of the country, where the Taliban have once again gained a foothold. The Afghan reaction to the Taliban is mixed: though they terrorize opposition with kidnapping and executions, in some cases they are the only recourse for justice. Some Afghan women brave death threats in order to participate in government, while others resort to self-immolation to escape abusive home life. Eichstaedt believes things will only get worse once American troops pull out of the country in 2014. Filled with testimony from the Afghan people, this is an eye-opening, important examination of Afghanistan today. --Kristine Huntley


"Authentic voices of Afghanistan—ones the US news media have not brought you—come to life through Eichstaedt’s capable reporting as compelling reading, vitally important for their future. And ours." —David Isby, author of Afghanistan: Graveyard of Empires


“Above the Din of War is a critical read for anyone looking to understand what’s at stake and likely to happen as American forces leave Afghanistan in 2014.” —Tom A. Peter, Afghanistan correspondent, The Christian Science Monitor

"These are vivid, mostly sympathetic portraits of Afghans who have weathered decades of chaos, and though a solution still seems far-off, Eichstaedt has done a great service by bringing their perspectives to the American public. . . . illuminating, timely, and necessary."  —Publishers Weekly

"A work of skilled and brutally honest journalism. Heartbreaking and spellbinding dispatches from a country descending into madness." —Kirkus Reviews

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By James Horn on December 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
“Above the Din of War” is a nonfiction novel supported by the observations of an international journalist by the name of Peter Eichstaedt. In “Above the Din of War” Eichstaedt supports a well developed thesis about the solution needed for the United States to pull out of Afghanistan peacefully in 2014. The book follows Eichstaedt and his translator as they travel across the provinces of Afghanistan in search of answers to the questions that no one knows to ask. The book discusses topics such as women discrimination and poor treatment, faulty democratic elections, the effects of the taliban on daily life and business situations, and the opinion of the Afghan people on foreign forces in comparison to the the Afghan government and the control of the Taliban. After Eichstaedt conducts his research in Afghanistan, he states his final thesis, or solution in his summative epilogue. He states, in a faulty thesis, that the best solution would be to convince the governments of all foreign forces controlling Afghanistan that it is in their best interest for Afghanistan to be at peace and not controlled by extremists, such as the Pakistan controlled Taliban. He stated that a regional settlement would be the best exit strategy for the United States, and the optimal situation for Afghanistan post United States pullout. However, Eichstaedt claims that although this would be the best situation, that there is little chance for it as the Taliban has no reason to negotiate. So, he proposed a new solution, or thesis. He proposed that Afghanistan should be partitioned into semiautonomous regions along ethnic lines.Read more ›
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More About the Author

Since the attacks of 9/11, the United States has steadily ramped up security along the US-Mexico border, transforming America's legendary Southwest into a frontier of fear.

Veteran journalist Peter Eichstaedt roams this fabled region from Tucson, Arizona, to El Paso, Texas, bringing readers face-to-face with the victims, power players, and personalities that have riveted US attention on border security.

By exploring the illicit paths of guns, money, drugs, and people as they flow back and forth across the US-Mexico border, Eichstaedt sheds light on the policies that contribute significantly to violence, abuse, and death -- what most see as only Mexico's problems.

He shares the eye-opening stories of migrants, desperate for work or to be reunited with family, who risk arrest and deportation by attempting to cross multiple times; accompanies the border patrol on a nighttime ride as immigrants are caught, then follows them through the system as they are jailed and deported; talks to humanitarians who are technically breaking the law by transporting lost, dehydrated migrants; and spends time with a Mexican coffee-growing cooperative whose fair-pay ethos eliminates the need for its growers to look to the US for a decent wage.

Presenting humane alternatives to fear and steel fences and offering solutions to the immigration crisis, The Dangerous Divide explores America's tortured relations with Mexico, ultimately focusing on hopeful measures and providing a rational and workable way out of the border and immigration problem.

Eichstaedt is a veteran journalist who has reported from locations worldwide, including Afghanistan, Albania, Somalia, the Sudans, Uganda, Kenya, eastern DR Congo, eastern Europe, and the Caucasus. He attended the University of the Americas in Mexico City and lived and worked as a journalist in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for more than twenty years. From 2010 to 2011 he was the Afghanistan country director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting in Kabul. He is the author of Above the Din of War, Consuming the Congo, Pirate State, First Kill Your Family, and If You Poison Us.

He lives in Denver, Colorado.

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Above the Din of War: Afghans Speak About Their Lives, Their Country, and Their Future—and Why America Should Listen
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