Industrial-Sized Deals Best Books of the Month Shop Women's Handbags Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon Beach House Fire TV Stick Grocery Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Shop Popular Services tmnt tmnt tmnt  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Metal Gear Solid 5 Gear Up for Football Deal of the Day
My Afghanistan: Before the Taliban and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $16.95
  • Save: $3.70 (22%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
My Afghanistan: Before th... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Like New | Details
Condition: Used: Like New
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

My Afghanistan: Before the Taliban Paperback – October 1, 2011

14 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.25
$8.61 $4.97

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$13.25 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Aeronaut Press (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964282887
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964282889
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,210,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jean Harris Boyce-Smith was born in 1925 in Concord, New Hampshire where she grew up and married Walt Boyce, her high school sweetheart. Jean left New Hampshire to attend Barnard College in New York City and earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. Following graduation, Jean and Walt were recruited by the Royal Afghan Government to teach English at Habibia University in Kabul, Afghanistan. Their time there is the basis for Jean's memoir "My Afghanistan," published posthumously.

Upon their return to the States in 1950, Jean and Walt worked in New York, he at his alma mater Columbia and Jean as an editor, first at T.V. Dial and then for T.V Guide. When Walt was offered the position of Dean of Men at Bates College, Jean moved with him to Lewiston, Maine where she lived until 1971, a 1960's faculty wife who raised three children but also wrote book reviews for the local newspaper. When her youngest reached school age, Jean returned to teaching. After Walt's death in 1968, Jean moved to northern California where she continued to teach until her retirement some fifteen years later.

Jean married Perrin Smith in 1974. He actively encouraged her lifelong love of travel and her continued writing. She was a member of several writers groups including the Napa Valley Scribblers, sold every word she wrote including a number of short stories and essays, and near the end of her life was accepted as a member of PEN. Following her death in September 2009, her husband and daughter joined forces to edit and publish the stories of her adventure in Afghanistan and India, the most formative experience of her life.

Customer Reviews

5 star
43%
4 star
57%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 14 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John P. Jones III TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
Few countries are as remote, in time, space and culture, yet it has played a significant role in the American psyche over the past decade, in ways that Tajikistan, Malawi, and Ecuador never have. A significant portion of our military has now received the proverbial "all-expenses paid" tour of the country. I've read, and re-read James Mitchner's Caravans: A Novel of Afghanistan, and have reviewed it at Amazon. Mitchner's novel is set in post-World War II Afghanistan, in the late 40's, precisely the time period of Boyce-Smith's memoir. Mitchner's novel contained some amazingly prescient insights into the country, particularly since it was written in the `60's, yet the story line was far-fetched and highly improbable. I gave the novel a 3-star rating. I had hoped that Boyce-Smith's account would be a more realistic depiction of the very early American interactions in a country that had been in the British sphere of influence. I was not disappointed.

Like one of the principal characters in Caravans: A Novel of Afghanistan, Ellen Jaspar, Jean Boyce-Smith had recently graduated from a prestigious Eastern college. She had married an American however, unlike Ellen Jaspar who had become enchanted with an upper-class Afghan, who was educated in the United States. The author was only 23 when she and her husband embarked on a ship (carrying dynamite for Aramco, in Dhahran!) for Bombay. The year was 1948, one year after Indian independence from the British raj, and the subsequent partition of the subcontinent. Certainly these events complicated their journey to Kabul.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. B. Sharp TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
"My Afghanistan" is a delightful series of reminiscences of a twenty three year American girl just out of college who with her husband were chosen to teach English to boys in Afghanistan. Afghanistan, 1948. A totally different world, now vanished forever.

The young couple, plowing ever east ward on a converted World War II freighter, soon leave their comfortable country far behind. "The ship moved languidly through seas...from the strong Atlantic blue... to cerulean... to milky azure."

Spicy smells, strange cries, the tinkle of bells assailed their senses as the freighter slid into Jeddah on the Red Sea, and Bahrain, and Bombay. The the last leg of the journey was by a small plane ,and finally a decrepit station wagon that groaned up and down the steep rocky hills through the Khyber Pass to a civilization far, far removed from the rest of the world.

Jean Boyce, the narrator, has in addition to a journalistic eye for detail. a fine sense of humor. She relates that when her possessions went through Afghan customs, the customs inspectors would most certainly find her three padded bras and tell everyone everywhere that Meesis Boyce did not have a thirty eight size bust. She pictured all the merchants in the bazaars laughing at her expense.

Jean taught at a boys' school called Habibia. Her classroom would consist of some 50 boys, ranging from age 13 to 23, the age she was. Many of the older boys towered over her. Young men of all economic circumstances were herded together. Some of these were rich and sported karakuls (a type of cap nearly all the men wore) made out of expensive materials such as fur. Their shoes would be of leather and brightly polished. The poorer students might even be barefoot.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
Thanks to her daughter -Anne Harris Boyce - Joyce Boyce-Smith `s long brewed tale of an idyllic life in Afghanistan has come to light. This is a homespun story of Joyce and husband Walt's year of throwing convention to the birds after college and taking a year to explore the exotic climes of Afghanistan, with a bit on India thrown in. From 1948 to 1949, after the clutter of WW II had settled and as the Cold War with Russia was nascent Joyce and Walt braved the fears of their families and stuck out to spend a year of exposure to a different culture. They both found teaching jobs in Kabul and through a year of assimilation and appreciation they became so much a part of Afghanistan that they deeply regretted their necessary return to the United States. Both fell in love with their adopted country and it is through the eyes of the author that we discover a new appreciation for a much-maligned country.

This book is rich in sensitivity and revelation about a country always known for its infamous hospitality. In a combination of photographs and asides and diary-like chapters Joyce Boyce-Smith reveals an Afghanistan that is so different form the vantage we at present have - a country whose landscape has been leveled by wars with Russia and with America, riddled by the Taliban, and the topic of debate as to whether or not keeping troops there at the present is warranted.
What Boyce-Smith ((Walt committed suicide in 1968 and Joyce married Perrin Smith, the publisher of this memoir, in 1974 - hence the hyphenated name) did for twenty years was write this tender and vastly entertaining book in her spare time. She died before it was completed - thus the final `author' is her daughter, a facet of this book that makes it that much more sensitive.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
My Afghanistan: Before the Taliban
This item: My Afghanistan: Before the Taliban
Price: $13.25
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com