The following sources are recommended by a professor whose research specialty is Afghanistan.
· Center for Afghanistan Studies. University of Nebraska at Omaha. This site provides an array of resources about Afghanistan. The Center for Afghanistan Studies presently serves as the only institutional base in the U.S. specifically and exclusively concerned with Afghanistan affairs. http://world.unomaha.edu/cas/
· Dupree, L., 1973. Afghanistan. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-03006-5. Louis Dupris was a wonderful, earthy old guy, trained in archaeology and a professor for American University, who became "Mr. Afghanistan" through decades of traveling throughout the country and writing about it. His book is one of the best introductions to Afghanistan extant. It has a complete discussion of the land, the people, the past, and the present with an epilogue that brings the reader right up through the first beginnings of the turmoil at the end of the century. Louis died in the 1980s during the war with the Soviets, and his ashes were scattered by the Mujahedeen in every province in the country. His wife, Nancy, lived in Peshawar, Pakistan, up through most of the 1990s, carrying on Louis' and her work.
· Girardet, E., 1985. Afghanistan: The Soviet War. Croom Helm. ISBN 0-7099-3802-0. Eddie Girardet walked all through Afghanistan at the height of the Soviet power there to report out to the West. The book is one of the finest of war reporting.
· Nyrop, R.F., and Seekins, D.M. (editors), 1986. Afghanistan: A Country Study. Foreign Area Studies, The American University. U.S. Gov. Doc. #D101.22:550-65/2/986. This is the definitive area studies handbook that the U.S. Government does for most of the countries of the world. It is an update from the 1969 version and was designed to help people understand the country of Afghanistan during their war with the U.S.S.R. No doubt a new version is in the works now, but if it isn't it should be.
· Klass, R. (editor), 1987. Afghanistan: The Great Game Revisited. Freedom House. ISBN 0-932088-16-3. Rosanne Klass had lived in Kabul for a number of years and in the early 1960s wrote a fun little book, "Afghanistan, Land of the High Flags," that detailed life there in the good times. This thick book that she edited later is a detailed scholarly look at the many problems produced by the Soviet invasion. Because Rosanne edited the book so well, it is readable and data rich, with many maps and much inside information.
· Rubin, B.R., 1995. The Fragmentation of Afghanistan: State Formation and Collapse in the International System. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-05963-9. Barney Rubin has written this highly learned book about the failed state. His title indicates the reasons for the beginning of the end of any kind of legitimate rule in Afghanistan.
· Griffen, M., 2001. Reaping the Whirlwind. Pluto Press. ISBN 0-7453-1274-8. This is the best new book about events current up to January 2001. It has vast detail about the circumstances of the previous decade, with the names of all the principals. Taliban, the erstwhile child of Pakistan, is featured. Bin Laden is also discussed many times. Wahabism, the fundamentalist import from Saudia Arabia that is so foreign to Afghanistan, is unfortunately not discussed. The front papers have an exceptionally detailed chronology of events in Afghanistan and related world affairs to put everything in context from 1973 to early 2001.
· Newell, N., and Newell, R., 1981. The Struggle for Afghanistan. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-1389-3. Nancy and Rich Newell, of the University of Northern Iowa until he retired recently, lived and traveled throughout Afghanistan several times in the 1970s. This is a good introduction to the rise and fall of the monarchy and the takeover by very old-fashioned Marxists. This is one of the earliest looks at the Soviet invasion and contains many photographs.
· Van Dyk, J., 1983. In Afghanistan. ISBN 0-698-11233-4. A very early reporting trip "inside" in 1981. Some good photographs.
· Urban, M., 1988. War in Afghanistan. Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-43263-0. This is one of the best analyses of the war through 1986, at least in military, historical and cultural terms, with many maps of military engagements, details of combatants, list of resistance groups and main players, etc., but no photographs.
· Hauner, M., and Canfield, R.L. (editors), 1989. Afghanistan and the Soviet Union: Collision and Transformation. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-7575-4. Bob Canfield did anthropological research in Afghanistan for a number of years, and Milan Hauner, a Czech refugee, has plentiful expertise on the U.S.S.R. They hosted a conference in Washington, D.C., during the middle of the war. This was the first time that experts on both the Soviet Union and Afghanistan had come together to compare notes.
· Saikal, A., and Maley, W., 1991. Regime Change in Afghanistan: Foreign Intervention and the Politics of Legitimacy. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-1326-0. This is a detailed book on the defeat and withdrawal of the Soviets, with the first intimations of the breakdown and breakup of the country.
-- ADDITIONAL PERIPHERAL SOURCES --
· Lamb, C., 1991. Waiting for Allah: Pakistan's Struggle for Democracy. Viking. ISBN 0-241-13055-7. This lady has walked into a lot of wild places to give the reader an excellent look at the nearly failed state of Pakistan. It has a detailed chronology of events affecting that country. With its huge Pushtun population, Pakistani-supported Pushtun Taliban, and contentious, volatile, fundamentalist religious fervor, if this country survives the coming events in the next few years, we will all be rather surprised.
· Capisani, G., 2000. The Handbook of Central Asia: A Comprehensive Survey of the New Republics. I.B. Tauris. ISBN 1-86064-429-5. This book is an excellent and thorough look at all the neighboring ex-Soviet states that border Afghanistan to the north.
· Whittell, G., 1996. Extreme Continental: Blowing Hot and Cold through Central Asia. Indigo. ISBN 0-575-40006-2. This is one of the funnier and more ironic views of traveling through the wilds of Central Asia just north of Afghanistan.
· Margolis, E.S., 2000. War at the Top of the World. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-92712-9. Margolis provides easy details about the ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Siachen Glacier (Pakistan/India), and Tibet. There are a number of small factual errors, minor mistaken interpretations, but overall a fairly good synthesis of a complex area. He suggests that Asia is headed for war at a much larger scale unless things change dramatically.
-- NOTE: Among the most learned other books are those by Selig Harrison.
"The Infography about Afghanistan"
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