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The Great Gamble: The Soviet War in Afghanistan
     

The Great Gamble: The Soviet War in Afghanistan

4.0 11
by Gregory Feifer
 

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“Fascinating….A highly readable history of the conflict.” —New York Times Book Review

In The Great Gamble, a groundbreaking account of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, former NPR Moscow correspondent Gregory Feifer vividly depicts the war that contributed greatly to the demise of the USSR, and that offers striking

Overview

“Fascinating….A highly readable history of the conflict.” —New York Times Book Review

In The Great Gamble, a groundbreaking account of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, former NPR Moscow correspondent Gregory Feifer vividly depicts the war that contributed greatly to the demise of the USSR, and that offers striking lessons for the 21st century, as well. Told from the perspective of the Russians who fought it, The Great Gamble offers valuable insight into the history of Afghanistan’s troubled government and the rise of the Mujahideen and Al-Qaeda. In the words of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Feifer has done truly extraordinary research… For all its heft, [The Great Gamble] is an effortless read—an unusual and gratifying combination.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061984389
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
574,799
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Gregory Feifer is the former Moscow correspondent for National Public Radio. He was educated at Harvard University and lives in Prague with his wife, Elizabeth, and son, Sebastian.

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Great Gamble: The Soviet War in Afghanistan 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Anyone who has followed the historians' perspective on the Bush-Obama war in Afghanistan knows the mountainous country has been considered a graveyard for outsiders. Before the Americans, the Soviets became engulfed in a nine-year war there that many say was a much greater factor to the collapse of the Soviet Union than Reagan's build-up; as it exposed the weaknesses of the rag-tag nature of the Red Army. Using predominantly interviews with Soviet veterans and translations of released Russian information, Gregory Feifer provides an intriguing look at why the Russians' felt they lost and believe likewise the Americans will too. In some ways the anecdotal glimpse of the war is overwhelming as there is so much material from so many vets. Yet ironically this deep look from mostly the perspective of Russian war veterans lacks two critical interrelated elements in light of today's debate over whether the United States can win in Afghanistan. First why the Soviets felt they could win a protracted war when they issued rations stamped 1942 and second why did the Afghanistan resistance believe they could defeat one of the world's two superpowers. Still this is an interesting account of the Soviet war in Afghanistan worth reading over several weeks. Harriet Klausner
BenderHeel More than 1 year ago
I recently finished Gregory Feifer's "Great Gamble." While it offers a lot of susbtantive information from the Soviet perspective of which I was unaware, it is flawed by the author's writing. Too often he skipped around in his narrative, leaving me wondering exactly where he was -- going from March to November and then back to April, which was needlessly confusing. As a result, I can't give what otherwise should be a solid work a better grade because of the lack of what I perceive as organization by the author. Nonetheless, the anecdotes offered by the former Soviet veterans of the Afghan war were quite interesting and illuminating as the U.S. prepares to become more deeply involved in the war fighting in AFG.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A real eye-opener about how the Soviets got sucked into a type of warfare (and its extent) which they were totally unprepared for, and the resulting terrible brutality occuring on both sides. Similar to our Vietnam experience, but very different from our own Afghan experience.
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