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The Taliban in Afghanistan (In the News) Library Binding – August 15, 2010
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This entry in the In the News series focuses on the Taliban’s violent history in Afghanistan and Pakistan, drawing on published English-language sources to trace the party’s rise during the civil wars following the Soviet occupation and its multiple defeats and resurgences in the past two decades. Though he simplistically writes of the Taliban as if it was monolithic in practice and philosophy, the author’s account of the country’s blood-spattered style of local politics puts the organization’s ultraconservative social views and harsh enforcement policies into an understandable (if not forgivable) context. The information is a bit dated—recent discoveries put paid to his claim that Afghanistan has “few natural resources,” for instance, and Stanley McChrystal is no longer in command of the U.S. forces there—but as a historical summary, this makes a useful update to or companion for Gail B. Stewart’s Life under the Taliban (2005), and the extensive resource lists at the end will provide a good basis for further research. Illustrated with small, infrequent photos. Grades 5-8. --John Peters
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