Customer Reviews for

Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Excellent!

I just finished Ahmed Rashid's book and was blown away by it. Excellent writing with a thorough look into the world of the Taliban and the various politics and relationships involved in the Taliban's rise to power. Some of the information will make you cringe when rea...
I just finished Ahmed Rashid's book and was blown away by it. Excellent writing with a thorough look into the world of the Taliban and the various politics and relationships involved in the Taliban's rise to power. Some of the information will make you cringe when reading it with the hindsight of the events that have unfolded in the region since Rashid wrote this in 1999, although it is still as influential today -- perhaps even moreso -- as the United States finally puts a full-court effort into the region to stablize it.

Also, I'm not sure how any of the past reviewers can critize the book for being difficult to read because of the foreign names and locales, as obviously that kind of information cannot be held against the author. I thought that the writing was great and flowed like a good narrative story. Further, when Rashid referred to the characters or places, he would provide the context so that the reader can recall who/what he is referring to. Finally, there are some very interesting and insightful appendices cataloging the leadership of the Taliban and just how uneducated and ignorant they are/were, as well as some of the laws that they passed.

posted by BenderHeel on April 13, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

A Great Overview of the Taliban

This book reveals what this organization is all about --- from activities planning to membership hierarchy. The descriptions throughout the book detail what we have seen in news reports concerning the Taliban. However, while the media has failed to disclose the enormity...
This book reveals what this organization is all about --- from activities planning to membership hierarchy. The descriptions throughout the book detail what we have seen in news reports concerning the Taliban. However, while the media has failed to disclose the enormity of the horrendous nature of the Taliban, the author tells all. From senseless executions to ridiculous business demands, it¿s all here. The book is a somewhat difficult read, due to the many references to Middle Eastern names and terms, etc., but the information provided is well worth it.

posted by Anonymous on October 14, 2002

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  • Posted September 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Welcome Insight Into the Rise of the Taliban

    This book offers a rare look inside the groups and personalities of Afghanistan's influential diaspora. While the Taliban is the focus of the book I enjoy Rashid's inclusion of all the groups that have shaped Afghanistan's recent history. The Pashtun tribes are the obvious focus of most Afghan books but he does an excellent job of integrating the Uzebk, Tajik and Hazara perspectives in Afghan politics. The vignettes of the brutality with which not just the Taliban but the other ethnic groups conducted operations against each other gives us the perspective that some militants are irreconcilable. But Rashid leaves open the possibility that the majority of the tribesmen may be amenable to a tepid peace. His exploration of all of the ethnic groups reveals an entrenched sense perpetual conflict, I think the challenge is translating their tendency for violent conflict into non-violent conflict. Overall a very well-written book; the second edition is an added treat with the inclusion of his perspectives on new developments. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone interested in historical Afghan tribal relations, specifically in the years after the Soviet withdrawal up until 11 September 2001.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2002

    A Good Book

    I chose this book after the Sept. 11 attacks to do as my nonfiction book report. The book was useful because it gave me the whole understanding of the enviroment in which the Taliban came to power. Some parts are a little bit confusing because there are so many places, people and tribes. I would recommend this book for book reports or everyday reading.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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