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No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes Paperback – May 5, 2015
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“Gopal has produced the best piece of investigative journalism to come out of Afghanistan in the past twelve years. He has a deep knowledge of the rural south, took great risks in visiting some of the most dangerous insurgent areas and has conducted thousands of hours of interviews.... His book should be a model for all our analysis of intervention, from Libya to contemporary Iraq.” ―Rory Stewart, New Statesman (UK)
“A brilliant, incisive work of storytelling and analysis. Of all the recent books on Afghanistan, this one stands out like a bright shining light, revealing the truth of the war from the ground up. Breathtaking and magnificent, this is a must read.” ―Ahmed Rashid, author of Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia
About the Author
ANAND GOPAL has served as an Afghanistan correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and The Christian Science Monitor, and has reported on the Middle East and South Asia for Harper's, The Nation, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, and other publications. He is an INCITE fellow at Columbia University.
Top customer reviews
REVIEW ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON GOODREADS.
People of all types--be they primative tribes or advanced members of society--have an urge toward cruelty. This urge toward cruelty is seen in a limited example at: www. prisonexp. org. When "the law" reinforces that urge--as it does in war--the urge toward cruelty has no check.
Anand Gopal's No Good Men Among the Living gives us a superb but another small example of the urge toward cruelty. There are also those unnumbered billions, as Horace reminds us, who have died "unmourned" because "they lack their sacred poet."
There is law, which, when it operates appropriately, can keep the urge largely in check. But law is an ineffective check against those who society has granted the power to torture and kill, even when to torture is illegal because, in the United States, we have a mostly supine federal appellate judiciary, which eschews the power to enforce our Constitution and our laws. As Swift observed, the law is a web that ensnares small flies but lets the hornets through.
Most striking is the author's account of his travels and introductions with such wide ranging representatives of these varying factions often leaving one to wonder about his safety while covering these stories which makes the book particularly poignant as he represents all sides of the equation with an even hand providing us all much to think about.
Heartily recommend this read for all.