The Taliban Shuffle

The Taliban Shuffle
Author: Kim Barker
Publsiher: Anchor
Total Pages: 322
Release: 2012-03-06
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9780307477385

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In this darkly comic and unsparing memoir that "tells us more about the Afghan debacle than any foreign policy briefing” (The Seattle Times), the famed investigative journalist uses her wry, incisive voice to expose the absurdities and tragedies of the “forgotten war,” finding humor and humanity amid the rubble and heartbreak. When Kim Barker first arrived in Kabul as a journalist in 2002, she barely owned a passport, spoke only English and had little idea how to do the “Taliban Shuffle” between Afghanistan and Pakistan. No matter—her stories about Islamic militants and shaky reconstruction were soon overshadowed by the bigger news in Iraq. But as she delved deeper into Pakistan and Afghanistan, her love for the countries grew, along with her fear for their future stability.

No Good Men Among the Living

No Good Men Among the Living
Author: Anand Gopal
Publsiher: Metropolitan Books
Total Pages: 320
Release: 2014-04-29
Genre: Political Science
ISBN: 9781429945028

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Told through the lives of three Afghans, the stunning tale of how the United States had triumph in sight in Afghanistan—and then brought the Taliban back from the dead In a breathtaking chronicle, acclaimed journalist Anand Gopal traces in vivid detail the lives of three Afghans caught in America's war on terror. He follows a Taliban commander, who rises from scrawny teenager to leading insurgent; a US-backed warlord, who uses the American military to gain personal wealth and power; and a village housewife trapped between the two sides, who discovers the devastating cost of neutrality. Through their dramatic stories, Gopal shows that the Afghan war, so often regarded as a hopeless quagmire, could in fact have gone very differently. Top Taliban leaders actually tried to surrender within months of the US invasion, renouncing all political activity and submitting to the new government. Effectively, the Taliban ceased to exist—yet the Americans were unwilling to accept such a turnaround. Instead, driven by false intelligence from their allies and an unyielding mandate to fight terrorism, American forces continued to press the conflict, resurrecting the insurgency that persists to this day. With its intimate accounts of life in war-torn Afghanistan, Gopal's thoroughly original reporting lays bare the workings of America's longest war and the truth behind its prolonged agony. A heartbreaking story of mistakes and misdeeds, No Good Men Among the Living challenges our usual perceptions of the Afghan conflict, its victims, and its supposed winners.

On All Fronts

On All Fronts
Author: Clarissa Ward
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 353
Release: 2020-09-08
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9780525561484

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“On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist beautifully outlines . . . what it means to seek the truth. It gave me a new faith in the power of reporting.” —Oprah Winfrey The recipient of multiple Peabody and Murrow awards, Clarissa Ward is a world-renowned conflict reporter. In this strange age of crisis where there really is no front line, she has moved from one hot zone to the next. With multiple assignments in Syria, Egypt, and Afghanistan, Ward, who speaks seven languages, has been based in Baghdad, Beirut, Beijing, and Moscow. She has seen and documented the violent remaking of the world at close range. With her deep empathy, Ward finds a way to tell the hardest stories. On All Fronts is the riveting account of Ward’s singular career and of journalism in this age of extremism. Following a privileged but lonely childhood, Ward found her calling as an international war correspondent in the aftermath of 9/11. From her early days in the field, she was embedding with marines at the height of the Iraq War and was soon on assignment all over the globe. But nowhere does Ward make her mark more than in war-torn Syria, which she has covered extensively with courage and compassion. From her multiple stints entrenched with Syrian rebels to her deep investigations into the Western extremists who are drawn to ISIS, Ward has covered Bashar al-Assad’s reign of terror without fear. In 2018, Ward rose to new heights at CNN and had a son. Suddenly, she was doing this hardest of jobs with a whole new perspective. On All Fronts is the unforgettable story of one extraordinary journalist—and of a changing world.

Sweet Relief

Sweet Relief
Author: Jennifer Abrahamson
Publsiher: Simon and Schuster
Total Pages: 272
Release: 2006-10-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9781416938729

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Sweet Relief is the remarkable story of how twenty-eight-year-old Marla Ruzicka took on the US government, changed the world, and made the ultimate sacrifice. Marla Ruzicka was a free spirit, a savvy political operator, a wartime Erin Brockovich. Fiercely determined to improve the lives of the less fortunate, the twenty-something blonde was instrumental in convincing the U.S. government to pass historic legislation aiding civilian victims of war. Sweet Relief recounts Marla's journey from an idyllic childhood in a small California town, through Latin America and Africa, and finally to the war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq. Whether she was Rollerblading the halls of Congress to secure funds for civilians in Iraq or throwing parties for journalists in Kabul to raise awareness of her cause, no one who came within a hundred yards of Marla missed her. Her friendly smile and indefatigable pose were ubiquitous in Afghanistan and Iraq where Marla managed a door-to-door effort to identify war victims. While Marla worked tirelessly to care for others, in many ways she neglected herself. A diagnosed manic-depressive, Marla battled extreme emotional lows and an eating disorder. And although she brought love into the homes of the aggrieved, she often struggled to find a love of her own. Marla gave the invisible victims of war a voice and, in the process, helped to win them millions of dollars in unprecedented aid. Tragically, Marla was killed by a suicide bomber on Airport Road in Iraq in April 2005. Weeks later, the US government named the program she fought so hard to establish The Marla Ruzicka Fund. Her life and legacy are an inspiring reminder that love and determination can conquer all.

The Taliban Shuffle

The Taliban Shuffle
Author: Kim Barker
Publsiher: Doubleday Books
Total Pages: 302
Release: 2011
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 0385533314

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A wisecracking foreign correspondent recounts her haphazard experiences in Afghanistan and Pakistan while sharing cautionary observations about the region in its first post-Taliban years, its ability to prevent a Taliban regrouping and the responsibilities of the U.S. and NATO.

Pakistan

Pakistan
Author: Imran Khan
Publsiher: Random House
Total Pages: 448
Release: 2011-09-15
Genre: History
ISBN: 9781446438244

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"A must-read for anyone interested in the intrigue of politics in the most dangerous country on earth" (The Sunday Times) Read the unique insider's view of a country unfamiliar to a Western audience, seen through the eyes of the man set to become Pakistan's new Prime Minister. Born only five years after Pakistan was created in 1947, Imran Khan has lived his country's history. Undermined by a ruling elite, and unable to protect its people from the carnage of regular bombings from terrorists and its own ally, America, Pakistan has for years suffered from instability. Now Imran Khan and his own political party, the Tehreek-e-Insaf, offer a real political alternative for the people of Pakistan at a time when tension between Pakistan's government and the powerful military has reached dangerous new levels. How did this flashpoint of volatility and injustice come about? Pakistan: A Personal History provides a unique insider's view of a country unfamiliar to a western audience. Woven into this history we see how Imran Khan's personal life - his happy childhood in Lahore, his Oxford education, his extraordinary cricketing career, his marriage to Jemima Goldsmith, his mother's influence and that of his Islamic faith - inform both the historical narrativeandhis current philanthropic and political activities. It is at once absorbing and insightful, casting fresh light upon a country whose culture he believes is largely misunderstood by the West.

A Rope and a Prayer

A Rope and a Prayer
Author: David Rohde,Kristen Mulvihill
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 384
Release: 2010-11-30
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 9781101445396

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The compelling and insightful account of a New York Times reporter's abduction by the Taliban, and his wife's struggle to free him. Invited to an interview by a Taliban commander, New York Times reporter David Rohde and two Afghan colleagues were kidnapped in November 2008 and spirited to the tribal areas of Pakistan. For the next seven months, they lived in an alternate reality, ruled by jihadists, in which paranoia, conspiracy theories, and shifting alliances abounded. Held in bustling towns, they found that Pakistan's powerful military turned a blind eye to a sprawling Taliban ministate that trained suicide bombers, plotted terrorist attacks, and helped shelter Osama bin Laden. In New York, David's wife of two months, Kristen Mulvihill, his family, and The New York Times struggled to navigate the labyrinth of issues that confront the relatives of hostages. Their methodical, Western approach made little impact on the complex mix of cruelty, irrationality, and criminality that characterizes the militant Islam espoused by David's captors. In the end, a stolen piece of rope and a prayer ended the captivity. The experience tested and strengthened Mulvihill and Rohde's relationship and exposed the failures of American effort in the region. The tale of those seven months is at once a love story and a reflection of the great cultural divide-and challenge-of our time.

Afghanistan

Afghanistan
Author: Paula Bronstein
Publsiher: University of Texas Press
Total Pages: 228
Release: 2016-06-07
Genre: Photography
ISBN: 147730939X

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The Afghan people are standing at a crucial crossroads in history. Can their fragile democratic institutions survive the drawdown of US military support? Will Afghan women and girls be stripped of their modest gains in freedom and opportunity as the West loses interest in their plight? While the media have largely moved on from these stories, Paula Bronstein remains passionately committed to bearing witness to the lives of the Afghan people. In this powerful photo essay, she goes beyond war coverage to reveal the full complexity of daily life in what may be the world's most reported on yet least known country. Afghanistan: Between Hope and Fear presents a photographic portrait of this war-torn country's people across more than a decade. With empathy born of the challenges of being an American female photojournalist working in a conservative Islamic country, Bronstein gives voice to those Afghans, particularly women and children, rendered silent during the violent Taliban regime. She documents everything from the grave trials facing the country—human rights abuses against women, poverty and the aftermath of war, and heroin addiction, among them—to the stirrings of new hope, including elections, girls' education, and work and recreation. Fellow award-winning journalist Christina Lamb describes the gains that Afghan women have made since the overthrow of the Taliban, as well as the daunting obstacles they still face. An eloquent portrait of everyday life, Afghanistan: Between Hope and Fear is the most complete visual narrative history of the country currently in print.