Invisible history: Afghanistan's untold story

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City Lights Books, Dec 1, 2008 - History - 389 pages
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View Gould and Fitzgerald's timeline of Afghan History in the GlobalPost's series, "Life, Death and the Taliban."

Despite declarations made by some in power, the war in Afghanistan is far from over - in fact, the turbulence is escalating. Seven years after 9/11, the Taliban continue to regroup, attack, and claim influence over most of the region.

Invisible History presents a fresh, comprehensive analysis of Afghanistan's political history that begins at the roots of tribal leadership and ultimately emphasizes our current political moment and the impact of ongoing U.S. military intervention. Fitzgerald and Gould tell the real story of how the U.S. came to be in Afghanistan and what we can expect next.

PAUL FITZGERALD and ELIZABETH GOULD, a husband and wife team, began their experience in Afghanistan in 1981 for CBS News and produced a documentary, Afghanistan Between Three Worlds, for PBS. In 1983 they returned for ABC Nightline and contributed to the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour. They have continued to research, write and lecture about Afghanistan history and U.S. foreign policy since.

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Praise for Invisible History:

"This book sparkles like a gem amid the piles of uninformed verbiage that is being spewed forth about Afghanistan these days. It is clear, forceful, impeccably researched and fearlessly opinionated. No one who wants to understand how the United States stumbled into its Afghanistan quagmire, or why it is having such trouble freeing itself, can afford not to read it."
-Stephen Kinzer, author and veteran New York Times correspondent

"A serious, sobering study, Invisible History illuminates a critical point of view rarely discussed by our media. The results of this willful ignorance have been disastrous to our national well-being."
-Oliver Stone

"Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story is a much-needed corrective to five decades of biased journalistic and academic writing about Afghanistan that has covered up the destructive and self-defeating U.S. role there. Backed by prodigious research, it shows that successive U.S. administrations deserve much of the blame for the rise of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and that the increasingly unpopular American military presence in Afghanistan today is likely to prove unsustainable."
-Selig S. Harrison, former South Asia Bureau Chief, Washington Post, and author of Out of Afghanistan

"In this penetrating inquiry, based on careful study of an intricate web of political, cultural, and historical  factors that lie in the immediate background, and enriched by unique direct observation at crucial moments, Fitzgerald and Gould tell 'the real story of how they came to be there and what we can expect next.' With skill and care, they unravel the roots of Afghanistan's terrible travail, and lay bare its awesome significance for the world at large. Invocation of Armageddon is no mere literary device. The threat is all too real as the political leadership of a superpower with few external constraints charges forward on a course that is fraught with peril. Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story is a critically important contribution to our understanding of some of the most dramatic and significant developments of current history."
-Noam Chomsky

"A revealing and commanding exposé of the imperial history, official skulduggery, and media manipulation that have enveloped Afghanistan; a story that Americans need to know."
-Michael Parenti, author of Contrary Notions and Against Empire

 "From the dawn of the Cold War onward, generations of conservative strategists have eyed Afghanistan as a launching pad first for the subversion of the Soviet Union and then to checkmate Russia in central Asia. To that end, as Gould and Fitzgerald show, since the 1950s the CIA has played games with both reactionary, feudal landlords and wild-eyed Muslim fundamentalists. In their exhaustively documented book, Gould and Fitzgerald reveal how that sort of gamesmanship played havoc with a battered nation of twenty-five million souls-helping to spawn, in the process, the virulent strain of violent Islamism that reaches far beyond the remote and landlocked territory of that war-torn country."
-Robert Dreyfuss, author of Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam

"[A] phenomenal compendium of history, research and critical analysis. . . Invisible History is filled with ground-breaking analysis, not only for those interested in the more recent politics of Afghanistan, but also for those wanting the larger historical context."
-Sima Wali, President of Refugee Women in Development, from the introduction

"Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story is a defining work of great wisdom and depth in which the authors get to the bottom of the cauldron that is Afghanistan. We cannot fully understand today's Afghanistan without reading this insightful book. Afghanistan was the first war in the US war on terror. Understanding Afghanistan is the key to the current war. You could not start at a better place than this book. To understand why eight years later it is still being fought, Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story is a must read." 
-Ahmed Rashid author of Taliban, Jihad, and Descent into Chaos

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Introduction by Sima Wali
A Clockwork Afghanistan
Problems with the Historical Record
The British Are Coming
The Great Game
Twentiethcentury Afghanistan
A Background to Cold War Policy
Moscows New Regime
A New and More Dangerous Afghanistan
The Taliban
Afghanistan Redux
Afghanistan and the Region
Geopolitical Realities vs Osama bin Laden Superstar
What Can President Barack Obama Do?

The 1979 Winter Nightmare
Summer 1980
The Reagan Era
The Twentyfirst Chapter
About the Authors

About the author (2008)

Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, a husband and wife team, began their experience in Afghanistan when they were the first American journalists to acquire permission to enter behind Soviet lines in 1981 for CBS News and produced a documentary, Afghanistan Between Three Worlds, for PBS. In 1983 they returned to Kabul with Harvard Negotiation project director Roger Fisher for ABC Nightline and contributed to the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour. They have continued to research, write and lecture about the long-term run-up that led to the US invasion of Afghanistan.

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