Highly readable. Insightful. The reference to Rudyard Kiplings "Ballad of the East and West" is appropriate, because most people know the phrase "East is East and West is West...." but hardly anyone knows that this is just one line from this ballad about the gallantry of the Pashtun. The book title refers to "Pukhtunwali", the way of the Pathans, and from the point of view of this Pashtun, the author treats the subject with exceptional empathy and understanding. For lay readers I would also suggest "The Pathans" by Olaf Caroe, who deals with the subject with greater inside information, having been the last British Governor of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). The Pashtuns live in two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan. World events and super power interests have prevented them from uniting. These same people played a MAJOR role in the demise of the Soviet Union. The US supplied them Stinger missiles, the Pashtun gave up their lives. The combination brought the USSR to its economic knees. But like Kiplings' Ballad, few know about this "fateful pebble". Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful to you?