Afghanistan: A Short History of Its People and Politics

Paperback | September 17, 2002

byMartin Ewans

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A fascinating chronicle of a nation's turbulent history.

Reaching back to earliest times, Martin Ewans examines the historical evolution of one of today's most dangerous breeding grounds of global terrorism. After a succession of early dynasties and the emergence of an Afghan empire during the eighteenth century, the nineteenth and early twentieth century saw a fierce power struggle between Russia and Britain for supremacy in Afghanistan that was ended by the nation's proclamation of independence in 1919. A communist coup in the late 1970s overthrew the established regime and led to the invasion of Soviet troops in 1979. Roughly a decade later, the Soviet Union withdrew, condemning Afghanistan to a civil war that tore apart the nation's last remnants of religious, ethnic, and political unity. It was into this climate that the Taliban was born.

Today, war-torn and economically destitute, Afghanistan faces unique challenges as it looks toward an uncertain future. Martin Ewans carefully weighs the lessons of history to provide a frank look at Afghanistan's prospects and the international resonances of the nation's immense task of total political and economic reconstruction.

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From the Publisher

A fascinating chronicle of a nation's turbulent history. Reaching back to earliest times, Martin Ewans examines the historical evolution of one of today's most dangerous breeding grounds of global terrorism. After a succession of early dynasties and the emergence of an Afghan empire during the eighteenth century, the nineteenth and ear...

Sir Martin Ewans, a former officer of the British Diplomatic Service, served in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, as well as in diplomatic missions in Africa and North America. He holds a degree from Cambridge University and is currently chairman of the international charity Children's Aid Direct.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.83 inPublished:September 17, 2002Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060505087

ISBN - 13:9780060505080

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Customer Reviews of Afghanistan: A Short History of Its People and Politics

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Informative I found that this book was very academic, which did make it a bit dry. If you are going to Afghanistan in a military or humanitarian role this should be considered essential reading (after understanding the local threats). Understanding the background of inter-tribal and international relations will help gain a bit of an understanding of what the Afghan population has been through and the challenges that are still to come.
Date published: 2008-07-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great for a basic history of Afghanistan Highly recommended for someone interested in a basic political history of Afghanistan. Ewans briefly covers the history from pre-BC up to around 1800. He then gradually goes into more and more detail as he covers the past 200 years up to the present situation (2008). Well written in a way that keeps you interested without boring you with a lot of dates. Ewans gives a brief biographies of the many characters that have ruled or tried to rule Afghanistan. Good analysis of the roots of the Taliban and who supported them. I now feel comfortable in knowing enough about the history of Afghanistan to understand why and how Canada got involved in the country's affairs.
Date published: 2008-02-05

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Editorial Reviews

“A highly readable primer” (New York Review of Books)