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The Rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan: Mass Mobilization, Civil War, and the Future of the Region
     

The Rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan: Mass Mobilization, Civil War, and the Future of the Region

by Neamatollah Nojumi
 

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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 a critical understanding of how internal divisions and the devastating effects of foreign involvement undermined the resilience of Afghanistan's communities, led

Overview

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 a 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 present 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 interactions of domestic, regional, and international politics that have bedeviled outsiders, plagued Afghans, and that threaten, absent judgment based on insight, to be a quagmire for the United States in the years ahead. This is essential reading in our troubled times.

Editorial Reviews

Nojumi is ideally positioned to provide the context critical to understanding the obstacles and opportunities ahead in achieving peace for Afghanistan.
Toronto Globe and Mail
Essential reading.
Thomas Gouttierre
Nojumi's 'ground up' analysis provides a rich resource for policymakers, journalists, and the general public seeking insight.
William Maley
An informed and instructive analysis helping readers fathom the complexities with which Western policy makers must now come to terms.
Peter Thomsen
...indispensable reading for people wishing to understand Afghanistan's socioeconomic landscape and bloody history...
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780756780906
Publisher:
DIANE Publishing Company
Publication date:
08/28/2004
Pages:
260

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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