Games Without Rules: The Often-Interrupted History of Afghanistan

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PublicAffairs, Nov 27, 2012 - History - 397 pages
2 Reviews

Today, most Westerners still see the war in Afghanistan as a contest between democracy and Islamist fanaticism. That war is real; but it sits atop an older struggle, between Kabul and the countryside, between order and chaos, between a modernist impulse to join the world and the pull of an older Afghanistan: a tribal universe of village republics permeated by Islam.


Now, Tamim Ansary draws on his Afghan background, Muslim roots, and Western and Afghan sources to explain history from the inside out, and to illuminate the long, internal struggle that the outside world has never fully understood. It is the story of a nation struggling to take form, a nation undermined by its own demons while, every 40 to 60 years, a great power crashes in and disrupts whatever progress has been made. Told in conversational, storytelling style, and focusing on key events and personalities, Games without Rules provides revelatory insight into a country at the center of political debate.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - the.ken.petersen - LibraryThing

This is a book which could only be written by someone with a foot in both camps. Tamim Ansary is an Afghan who has spent many years living in America. He produces an excellent book which neither ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - careburpee - LibraryThing

(Perseus Books Group kindly gave me a pre-publication galley of this book, but it will be available to the general public on 27 November 2012.) Of all the histories I have read on Afghanistan, and I ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Tamim Ansary is the author of Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes and West of Kabul, East of New York, among other books. For ten years he wrote a monthly column for Encarta.com, and has published essays and commentary in the San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, Alternet, TomPaine.com, Edutopia, Parade, Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. Born in Afghanistan in 1948, he moved to the U.S. in 1964. He lives in San Francisco, where he is director of the San Francisco Writers Workshop.

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