Before Taliban: Genealogies of the Afghan Jihad

Front Cover
University of California Press, Apr 2, 2002 - Social Science - 376 pages
1 Review
In this powerful book, David B. Edwards traces the lives of three recent Afghan leaders in Afghanistan's history--Nur Muhammad Taraki, Samiullah Safi, and Qazi Amin Waqad--to explain how the promise of progress and prosperity that animated Afghanistan in the 1960s crumbled and became the present tragedy of discord, destruction, and despair. Before Taliban builds on the foundation that Edwards laid in his previous book, Heroes of the Age, in which he 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.

In the mid twentieth century, Afghans believed their nation could be a model of economic and social development that would inspire the world. Instead, political conflict, foreign invasion, and civil war have left the country impoverished and politically dysfunctional. Each of the men Edwards profiles were engaged in the political struggles of the country's recent history. They hoped to see Afghanistan become a more just and democratic nation. But their visions for their country were radically different, and in the end, all three failed and were killed or exiled. Now, Afghanistan is associated with international terrorism, drug trafficking, and repression. Before Taliban tells these men's stories and provides a thorough analysis of why their dreams for a progressive nation lie in ruins while the Taliban has succeeded. In Edwards's able hands, this culturally informed biography provides a mesmerizing and revealing look into the social and cultural contexts of political change.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

Before Taliban: genealogies of the Afghan jihad

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In 1987, the Afghan Media Resource Center (AMRC) of Williams College, based in Peshawar, Pakistan, sent photographers and journalists to cover the tail end of the war with the Soviets. At the time ... Read full review

Before Taliban: genealogies of the Afghan jihad

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In 1987, the Afghan Media Resource Center (AMRC) of Williams College, based in Peshawar, Pakistan, sent photographers and journalists to cover the tail end of the war with the Soviets. At the time ... Read full review

Contents

Into Forbidden Afghanistan
1
PART I THE SAUR REVOLUTION
23
PART II THE PECH UPRISING
93
PART III THE ISLAMIC JIHAD
175
Notes
309
Glossary
333
Bibliography
339
Index
347
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2002)

David B. Edwards is Professor of Anthropology at Williams College. He is the author of Heroes of the Age: Moral Fault Lines on the Afghan Frontier (California, 1996).

Bibliographic information