The Rise Of The Taliban In Afghanistan

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On September 11, 2001, the world looked in horror at one of the most nefarious acts of terrorism in history. Neamatollah Nojumi explains how Afghanistan became the base for radical fundamentalism and provides critical understanding of how internal divisions and the devastating effects of foreign involvement undermined the resilience of Afghanistan's communities, led to the rise of the Taliban, and now presents a unique challenge to international efforts at nation building. As the cycle of yesterday's allies becoming today's enemies turns once again, The Rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan provides crucial insight into the tangled interaction of domestic, regional, and international politics that have bedeviled outsiders, plagued Afghans, and that threaten, absent judgement based on insight, to be a quagmire for the United States in the years ahead. This is essential reading in our troubled times.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Nojumi's 'ground up' analysis of the roots of the Taliban's taking power, the growing Muslim Afghan opposition to the Taliban's repressive rule, and the role of outside powers in Afghanistan provides a rich resource for policymakers, journalists, and the general public seeking insight.” - Thomas Gouttierre, Director, Center for Afghanistan Studies, University of Nebraska at Omaha, served on UN Peacekeeping Mission to Afghanistan

“Voices from Afghanistan are too often lost in the tumult which surrounds that country. Having lived through some of the events which he describes, Neamatollah Nojumi offers an informed and instructive analysis which will help his readers to fathom the diverse complexities with which Western policy makers must now come to terms after the shattering events of September 2001.” - William Maley, School of Politics, Australian Defense Force Academy

“The Rise of the Taliban is indispensable reading for people wishing to understand Afghanistan's socio-economic landscape and bloody history since the 1979 Soviet invasion. Nojumi is ideally positioned to provide the context critical to understanding the obstacles and opportunities ahead in achieving peace for Afghanistan.” —Ambassador Peter Thomsen, Special Envoy to the Afghan Resistance, 1989-1992

“...essential reading...” - Toronto Globe and Mail

From The Critics
Nojumi is ideally positioned to provide the context critical to understanding the obstacles and opportunities ahead in achieving peace for Afghanistan.
William Maley
An informed and instructive analysis helping readers fathom the complexities with which Western policy makers must now come to terms.
Toronto Globe and Mail
Essential reading.
Peter Thomsen
...indispensable reading for people wishing to understand Afghanistan's socioeconomic landscape and bloody history...
Thomas Gouttierre
Nojumi's 'ground up' analysis provides a rich resource for policymakers, journalists, and the general public seeking insight.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Nojumi, a former member of the Mujahadeen who fought the Soviet invasion and a contributor to humanitarian efforts to help displaced Afghans, offers a committed but often barely intelligible attempt to explain the historical, political and cultural circumstances behind the Taliban's ascent to power. The author, who was raised in Afghanistan, describes how decades of war and foreign interference eroded the traditional relationship between an Afghani central government and the local tribal councils, or jirgas, destroyed an economy based on agricultural production and "watered the seeds of Islamic radicalism." Afghan citizens initially greeted the Taliban with hope, he writes, but "many quickly lost their hope in the dusty field of [its] militaristic, ethnic, and religious ultra-supremacy approach"; the Taliban has paid no more attention to the country's "national ideology" than did the Marxist/Leninist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, whose 1978 coup led to the 1979 Soviet invasion. Nojumi's discussions of the phenomenon of mass mobilization which he defines as a political organization's efforts to induce broad social change weigh down his account with unnecessary and garbled attempts at theory. Such a complicated history cries out for a structure based on chronology and on narrative. Instead this text is so disorganized, so riddled with confusing or even meaningless sentences ( "Each event evolved and occurred because of previous events," for example) that most readers will find themselves too frustrated to keep going. Illus. not seen by PW. (Jan. 28) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
During the ten years (1979-88) of Soviet rule in Afghanistan, Nojumi was active in the mujahedin resistance, fighting for the return of independence to his native country. Now he is an independent scholar living near Boston. Here he has written a detailed account of the Soviet period plus the following years until the Taliban took effective control of the country in 1996. Drawing primarily on personal notes and diaries, he describes the events as a contest among the three forces of nationalism, Islam, and modernization and as a process of mass mobilization, which he believes is necessary to bring about political change. However, his theoretical framework is poorly explained, and his story frequently bogs down in the minutiae of thrust and parry of the long struggle for power. At this time, when the Taliban figure so prominently in the news, all libraries need something current on the topic; better choices would be Ahmed Rashid's Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (LJ 4/1/00) or Fundamentalism Reborn? Afghanistan and the Taliban (New York Univ., 1998). Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An awkwardly written history of Afghanistan that nonetheless provides a context for understanding events that have swept the country in the past couple months, from former Afghan mujahideen Nojumi.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312295844
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 1/1/2002
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Neamatollah Nojumi, who was raised in Afghanistan, was a participant in the Mujahideen fight against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. A frequent speaker on the politics of Afghanistan, he has appeared on or consulted with ABC's "Nightline" and NBC's "Dateline."

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Table of Contents

• Historical Background
• The Political Elements of Afghan Society
• The Theory of Mass Mobilization
• Mass Mobilization in Afghanistan
• Violence: A Source for Authority
• Traditional Political System
• Modern Political Parties in Afghanistan
• The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
• The DRA’s Social and Economic Reforms
• Violence, the Leading Element of Mobilization
• The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan
• The Phenomena of Civil War In Afghanistan
• Politicization of Ethnic Groups
• The PDPA & Ethnic Groups
• Centralism Against Individualism & Autonomy
• Zonal Division of Afghanistan
• The Afghan Mujahedin & Mass Mobilization
• The First Phase of Civil War
• The Formation of a Third Movement
• Missing the Only Chance
• The Rise of Taliban
• The Source of Taliban Forces in Afghanistan
• The Taliban Tactics & Strategies
• The Political Ideology of Taliban
• Taliban Advance Toward Mazr-e-Sharif
• Taliban Advance in The North
• The Road into the Future
• Fraction in the Taliban Leadership
• Afghanistan in the International System
• The Peace Efforts

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