Further Reading

cover of Afghanistan: A Military History from Alexander the Great to the Fall of the Taliban

History of Afghanistan

Afghanistan: A Military History from Alexander the Great to the Fall of the Taliban
Stephen Tanner
This fascinating overview of 2,500 years of military history "illuminates the broad historical context into which American forces have been drawn," and sounds a cautionary note about the dangers that lie ahead.

Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia
Ahmed Rashid
Rashid, a journalist who covered Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia for over twenty years, presents a fascinating analysis of the growth of the Taliban and explores the social, political, and economic consequences of its rise to power.

The Man Who Would Be King: The First American in Afghanistan
Ben Macintyre
This is a chronicle of the remarkable exploits of Josiah Harlan, an adventure-loving Pennsylvania Quaker who embarked on a twenty-year journey through Central Asia. His journey culminated with his arrival in Afghanistan in 1838, where he (briefly) was crowned king.

Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban
Larry P. Goodson
A well-researched account of the religious, economic, ethnic, and geographic issues that have shaped Afghanistan's recent (1978-2001) history.

The Origins of Conflict in Afghanistan
Jeffery J. Roberts
By exploring Afghanistan's relations with the West during the latter half of the twentieth century, Roberts offers new insights into the origins of the country's recent turmoil.

The Soviet-Afghan War: How a Superpower Fought and Lost
The Russian general staff offer a detailed examination of their war in Afghanistan and chronicle the major battles and operations, providing valuable insights into Soviet tactics, strategy, doctrine, and organization.

The Afghans
Willem Vogelsang
"The dramatic history of the land and peoples of Afghanistan from prehistoric times to the present day."

The Taliban Phenomenon: Afghanistan 1994-1997
Kamal Matinuddin
An analysis of the origin, aims and objectives of the Taliban movement.

1979: The Year that Shaped the Modern Middle East
David W. Lesch
Lesch argues that 1979 marked a watershed moment in modern Middle East history and fundamentally changed the course of history. During that year, Ayatollah Khomeini came to power in Iran, the Egypt-Israeli peace treaty was signed, and Afghanistan was invaded by the Soviet Union.

Reaping the Whirlwind: The Taliban Movement in Afghanistan
Michael Griffin
Drawing on local and international reports, Griffin offers a compelling and detailed examination of how this secretive and obscure sectarian organization was able to rise to power within such a short period of time.

Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan
Mary Anne Weaver
Drawing upon her experience as a foreign correspondent for The New Yorker, Weaver documents the events that transformed Pakistan into one of "the most volatile, dangerous, yet fascinating places on earth," and explains why its stability is crucial to U.S. foreign policy.

The Hunt For Bin Laden: Task Force Dagger
Robin Moore
Moore reports on the American, Afghan, and coalition operations as part of the Combined Joint Special Operations Force called Task Force Dagger.