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Heroes of the Age: Moral Fault Lines on the Afghan Frontier
     

Heroes of the Age: Moral Fault Lines on the Afghan Frontier

by David B. Edwards
 

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ISBN-10: 0520200640

ISBN-13: 9780520200647

Pub. Date: 11/01/1996

Publisher: University of California Press


Much of the political turmoil that has occurred in Afghanistan since the Marxist revolution of 1978 has been attributed to the dispute between Soviet-aligned Marxists and the religious extremists inspired by Egyptian and Pakistani brands of "fundamentalist" Islam. In a significant departure from this view, David B. Edwards contends that—though Marxism and

Overview


Much of the political turmoil that has occurred in Afghanistan since the Marxist revolution of 1978 has been attributed to the dispute between Soviet-aligned Marxists and the religious extremists inspired by Egyptian and Pakistani brands of "fundamentalist" Islam. In a significant departure from this view, David B. Edwards contends that—though Marxism and radical Islam have undoubtedly played a significant role in the conflict—Afghanistan's troubles derive less from foreign forces and the ideological divisions between groups than they do from the moral incoherence of Afghanistan itself. Seeking the historical and cultural roots of the conflict, Edwards examines the lives of three significant figures of the late nineteenth century—a tribal khan, a Muslim saint, and a prince who became king of the newly created state. He explores the ambiguities and contradictions of these lives and the stories that surround them, arguing that conflicting values within an artificially-created state are at the root of Afghanistan's current instability.

Building on this foundation, Edwards examines conflicting narratives of a tribal uprising against the British Raj that broke out in the summer of 1897. Through an analysis of both colonial and native accounts, Edwards investigates the saint's role in this conflict, his relationship to the Afghan state and the tribal groups that followed him, and the larger issue of how Islam traditionally functions as an encompassing framework of political association in frontier society.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520200647
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
11/01/1996
Series:
Comparative Studies on Muslim Societies Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
334
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.88(h) x 0.75(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Maps, vii,
Acknowledgments, ix,
List of Significant Persons, xiii,
1. INTRODUCTION, 1,
2. THE MAKING OF SULTAN MUHAMMAD KHAN, 33,
3. THE REIGN OF THE IRON AMIR, 78,
4. THE LIVES OF AN AFGHAN SAINT, 126,
5. MAD MULLAS AND ENGLISHMEN, 172,
6. EPILOGUE, 220,
Notes, 235,
Glossary, 271,
Bibliography, 279,
Index, 297,

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