In Afghanistan:An American Odyssey

Overview

In Afghanistan is the story of a young man, searching for adventure and self-discovery in war-torn Afghanistan during the time of the Soviet invasion. It is also a portrait of an exotic land and people desperately struggling for survival during that war, as they are today. In 1981, with a letter and some financial backing from The New York Times, Van Dyk, bearded and dressed as an Afghan, sneaked into Afghanistan , then off-limits to foreigners, and lived in the ruggedly-beautiful mountains and desert of this ...
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Overview

In Afghanistan is the story of a young man, searching for adventure and self-discovery in war-torn Afghanistan during the time of the Soviet invasion. It is also a portrait of an exotic land and people desperately struggling for survival during that war, as they are today. In 1981, with a letter and some financial backing from The New York Times, Van Dyk, bearded and dressed as an Afghan, sneaked into Afghanistan , then off-limits to foreigners, and lived in the ruggedly-beautiful mountains and desert of this country with the Mujahideen, the men then fighting the Soviet Union. “My spine tingled like a boy’s. I felt the sensation of adventure…The Turbans of ten laughing young men, armed to the teeth, flapped in the wind…I would not have traded this moment for all the money in the world. It was suicidal, magnificent, and I knew we’d be all right.” But it was close. He lived through Soviet ground and helicopter attacks, saw death and suffering, but also laughter. He had much to learn about Islam, tribal traditions and the holy war the guerrillas were waging. He was accused of being a Soviet spy, but ultimately won the trust of his Afghan guides. He saw a strong, courageous, often frightened people fighting to protect the only thing they knew--their homes, their families, their way of life. The author, a former runner, a fledgling politician and writer, who grew up in a fundamentalist Christian family in a small town in the Northwest, also went looking for something deep among these men who shouted “God is Great” and went into battle against the Red Army. His story is about the people he met and his journey.
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Editorial Reviews

Drew Middleton
"Van Dyk got into Afghanistan, suffered physical hardship and emerged to write this fascinating narrative…the author gives us a clear and on the whole unbiased picture of the men who are fighting the Russians and of the society that bred them. For war buffs, there is plenty of action…the book’s greatest value is the picture it gives of the Afghan people. From the pages come the smell of campfires often fed by camel dung, the taste of sweet tea and mutton fat, the texture of an unknown people.”
In Afghanistan, 12/30/1899
Edmund Fuller
“He (Van Dyk) has written a fast-paced, suspenseful account of human anguish and courage…He shared freighting action with sharply etched characters. This true adventure of a high order will make you empathize with these sometimes primitive, fierce people, alien to us in many ways, but fighting with passion and bravery for their faith and their independence.”
In Afghanistan, 12/30/1899
Malcolm Boyd
“The Making of a Contemporary Journalist” might be a more appropriate title for the book. Van Dyk…risked his life on a news search in war-torn Afghanistan living with guerrillas and eluding Soviet tanks. A driven, adventurous, skilled young American had been willing to put his life on the line—for what? A story, and more. He wanted to find a key to the lock of his identity. A journliast? A runner? An outsider? A brother?
In Afghanistan, 12/30/1899
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780595215539
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 0.73 (d)

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