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Afghanistan
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About the Author

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.

Reviews

Adult/High School-Spanning a period from thousands of years B.C.E. through September 11, 2001, Ewans ambitiously covers an incredible scope of this country's history. While the writing is dry at times, the information goes a long way toward putting the nation's current situation in perspective. Events leading up to and during the Soviet invasion in the late '70s are especially intriguing, as is the explanation of the mujahadin's emergence. More than half the book dwells on 20th-century happenings, with quite a bit of fascinating detail on conditions in Afghanistan during the '90s. Light is shed on how and why the Taliban movement gained power. Discussion on drug trafficking includes statistics on opium production. A five-page epilogue analyzes the impact of 9/11 and subsequent actions taken to bring down the Taliban and to snuff out bin Laden and his Al Qaeda operations. Remarkably thorough text is supplemented by a diagram of the Durrani dynasty; a section of 38 black-and-white glossy plates showing not only historical places and figures, but also early coinage; and 8 geopolitical maps. A former diplomat who served in Afghanistan, Ewans has written a timely and useful book that proffers insight into a country that until recently had been overlooked by most of the world.-Sheila Shoup, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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