The Khyber Pass: A History of Empire and Invasion
Union Square Press
, Apr 1, 2008
- 261 pages
Thirty miles long, and in places no more than sixteen meters wide, the Pass is the principal route through the great mountain borderlands between India and Central Asia -- and the path of invasion for generations of conquerors.
In this ground-breaking book, Paddy Docherty charts its remarkable story -- one which involves so many of the world's great leaders and civilizations, from the influential Persian kings to Alexander the Great, from the White Huns to Genghis Khan, not to mention the Ancient Greeks and countless tribes of nomads and barbarians. He paints an illuminating picture of mountain warriors and religious visionaries, artists, poets and scientists as well as describing how around the Pass emerged three of the great world religions -- Buddhism, Sikhism and Islam.
He also depicts the Pass' more modern significance as a lawless region of gunsmiths, drug markets and as a terrorist hideout. Just a few years after the Soviet Union was defeated by the Afghan Mujahideen, many thousands of soldiers from the United States, Britain and other nations are struggling to control Afghanistan. Through his own travels in this true frontier region Paddy Docherty brings this epic history into the twenty-first century.