Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia

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Yale University Press, 2001 - 274 pages
Shrouding themselves and their aims in deepest secrecy, the leaders of the Taliban movement control Afghanistan with an inflexible, crushing fundamentalism. The most extreme and radical of all Islamic organizations, the Taliban inspires fascination, controversy, and especially fear in both the Muslim world and the West. Correspondent Ahmed Rashid brings the shadowy world of the Taliban into sharp focus in this enormously interesting and revealing book. It is the only authoritative account of the Taliban and modern day Afghanistan available to English language readers.

Based on his experiences as a journalist covering the civil war in Afghanistan for twenty years, traveling and living with the Taliban, and interviewing most of the Taliban leaders since their emergence to power in 1994, Rashid offers unparalleled firsthand information. He explains how the growth of Taliban power has already created severe instability in Russia, Iran, Pakistan, and five Central Asian republics. He describes the Taliban’s role as a major player in a new “Great Game”—a competition among Western countries and companies to build oil and gas pipelines from Central Asia to Western and Asian markets. The author also discusses the controversial changes in American attitudes toward the Taliban—from early support to recent bombings of Osama Bin Laden’s hideaway and other Taliban-protected terrorist bases—and how they have influenced the stability of the region.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sandydog1 - www.librarything.com

Comprehensive and dry at times. It reads like a history book. It IS a history book, as well as a great reference for Afghan political history up until circa 2000. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Hebephrene - LibraryThing

Rashid is the most knowledgeable source on Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia. He has done more research and interviewed more of the essential players than anyone else. This history however ... Read full review

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About the author (2001)

Pakistani journalist and bestselling author Ahmed Rashid was born in Rawalpindi in 1948. He was educated at Malvern College in England, Government College in Lahore, and Fitzwilliam College in Cambridge. He works as a correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and the Daily Telegraph and writes for the Wall Street Journal, The Nation, and academic journals. His titles include Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia, and Descent into Chaos.

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