A Brief History of Afghanistan / Edition 2

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Located along the busy trade routes between Asia and Europe, Afghanistan was for centuries a place where a diverse set of cultures met and exchanged goods and ideas. It was also a country on the paths of many invaders. All of these conquerors and peoples left their mark on the land, eventually forming one of the most diverse societies in the world. Modern times ushered in a violent era, from the overthrow of the monarchy in 1973 to the fall of the Taliban almost 30 years later. The experience of mass destruction, death, exile, and tyranny touched every Afghan. Whether the legacy of civic strife can be overcome by the shared experience of suffering is the challenge Afghanistan faces today.

A Brief History of Afghanistan provides a clear, concise account of the country's historical and cultural heritage, from 3000 B.C.E. to the present. Comprehensive coverage examines the history of the country, its diverse peoples, its culture, and its political and economic situation. Current events, such as the attempts by the government to improve the country's security and economy and to establish a strong central government, are also included.

Coverage also includes: The Rise of Islam to the Afghan State, The Birth of Modern Afghanistan, Twentieth-Century Monarchy, Two Revolutions, Soviet Afghanistan, Afghanistan in Rebellion, Mujahideen Rule, The Taliban Era, The Legacy of the Civil War, The Post-Taliban Era.

About the Author:
Shaista Wahab is in charge of the Arthur Paul Afghanistan Collection at the University Library, University of Nebraska at Omaha

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Best-selling titles such as Dayna Curry and others' Prisoners of Hopeand Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runnerdemonstrate the public's strong interest in Afghanistan. The war on terror, Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban are hot topics in today's news. Part of Facts On File's "Brief History" series-which aims to provide concise histories of the struggles and triumphs of various peoples and cultures-this title offers researchers and students grades nine and up a look at the antiquity and special nature of Afghanistan, examining the country's two major religious groups, the Sunnis and Shiites. As noted in the introduction, Afghanistan is a bit of a mystery. It is not unified in any ethnic or linguistic sense and has no natural geographic borders, and after three decades of war, revolution, terrorism, and intervention by other countries it remains a contradiction. Though one of the world's poorest and least developed countries, it has significant mineral and energy resources. The largest part of the book covers the violent era from the overthrow of monarchy in 1973 to the fall of the Taliban, taking a closer look at the experiences and effects of mass destruction, death, and tyranny. A handy appendix gives basic facts of interest about the country. Of special interest to librarians: Wahab is in charge of the Arthur Paul Afghanistan Collection at the University of Nebraska at Omaha Library, which holds the largest collection of Afghan materials in the United States.
—Bobbie Wrinkle

School Library Journal

Adult/High School -A good choice for teens interested in a synoptic view of Afghanistan from prehistory to 2006. Located along the trade routes that connected the continents of Europe and Asia, the country was exposed to a plethora of ideas and ethnicities over the centuries. Arab forays (ca. 650) introduced what would become the most unifying influence-Islam. The majority of the book, however, focuses on the period from 1747, when modern Afghanistan was founded under Ahmad Shah, to the present. Wahab covers the "Great Game" between the Russian and British empires, the unrest of the 20th century, the Soviet occupation of the 1980s, the rise of the mujahideen, and the Taliban era and the civil war that followed, and concludes with a chapter summarizing the current status of her native county. (Wahab immigrated to the U.S. in 1981, but returned briefly in late 2002-early 2003 to film the PBS documentary, Afghanistan Unveiled .) The book contains dozens of black-and-white photographs as well as numerous sidebars on a variety of subjects from important personages to national flags.-Dori DeSpain, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816082186
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Series: Brief History Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 368
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations     vi
List of Maps     vii
List of Charts     vii
Introduction: The Challenge of Afghanistan     viii
Land and People     1
Early History (Prehistory-651)     31
From the Rise of Islam to the Afghan State (651-1747)     51
The Birth of Modern Afghanistan (1747-1901)     71
Twentieth-Century Monarchy (1901-1973)     98
A Coup and a Revolution (1973-1978)     129
Soviet Afghanistan (1979-1989)     149
Afghanistan in Rebellion (1978-1992)     171
Mujahideen Rule (1992-1996)     195
The Taliban Era (1996-2001)     212
The Legacy of the Civil War     227
Overcoming the Legacy     238
Basic Facts     257
Chronology     262
Bibliography     268
Suggested Reading     272
Index     291
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