Games Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan

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PublicAffairs, 2012 - History - 397 pages
25 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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Review: Games Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan

User Review  - Goodreads

A very good introduction to contemporary Afghanistan through a historic overview by an author with a privileged perspective. Read full review

Review: Games Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan

User Review  - Goodreads

Afghanistan, from the 18th century to the 21st, by an Afghan-American writer. The story is well-told, full of local color, and deeply sympathetic to the Afghans, of all sects and backgrounds. The book ... 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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