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|Author by||: Kim Barker|
A wisecracking foreign correspondent recounts her experiences in Afghanistan and Pakistan while sharing cautionary observations about the region in its first post-Taliban years and the responsibilities of the U.S. and NATO.
|Author by||: Kim Barker|
Now a Major Motion Picture titled Whiskey Tango Foxtrot starring Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Alfred Molina, and Billy Bob Thornton. From tea with warlords in the countryside to parties with drunken foreign correspondents in the “dry” city of Kabul, journalist Kim Barker captures the humor and heartbreak of life in post-9/11 Afghanistan and Pakistan in this profound and darkly comic memoir. As Barker grows from awkward newbie to seasoned reporter, she offers an insider’s account of the region’s “forgotten war” at a time when all eyes were turned to Iraq. Candid, self-deprecating, and laugh-out-loud funny, Barker shares both her affection for the absurdities of these two hapless countries and her fear for their future stability.
|Author by||: Anand Gopal|
|Editor||: Metropolitan Books|
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.
|Author by||: Peter L. Bergen|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
A forefront expert on al Qaeda draws on his unique first-hand interviews with Osama bin Laden, top-level jihadists and Washington officials to offer insight into the war on terror from both sides. By the author of The Osama bin Laden I Know. Reprint.
|Author by||: Carlotta Gall|
A journalist with deep knowledge of the region provides “an enthralling and largely firsthand account of the war in Afghanistan” (Financial Times). Few reporters know as much about Afghanistan as Carlotta Gall. She was there in the 1990s after the Russians were driven out. She witnessed the early flourishing of radical Islam, imported from abroad, which caused so much local suffering. She was there right after 9/11, when US special forces helped the Northern Alliance drive the Taliban out of the north and then the south, fighting pitched battles and causing their enemies to flee underground and into Pakistan. Gall knows just how much this war has cost the Afghan people—and just how much damage can be traced to Pakistan and its duplicitous government and intelligence forces. Combining searing personal accounts of battles and betrayals with moving portraits of the ordinary Afghans who were caught up in the conflict for more than a decade, The Wrong Enemy is a sweeping account of a war brought by American leaders against an enemy they barely understood and could not truly engage.
|Author by||: Helen Thorpe|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
“A raw, intimate look at the impact of combat and the healing power of friendship” (People): the lives of three women deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, and the effect of their military service on their personal lives and families—named a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly. “In the tradition of Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Richard Rhodes, and other masters of literary journalism, Soldier Girls is utterly absorbing, gorgeously written, and unforgettable” (The Boston Globe). Helen Thorpe follows the lives of three women over twelve years on their paths to the military, overseas to combat, and back home…and then overseas again for two of them. These women, who are quite different in every way, become friends, and we watch their interaction and also what happens when they are separated. We see their families, their lovers, their spouses, their children. We see them work extremely hard, deal with the attentions of men on base and in war zones, and struggle to stay connected to their families back home. We see some of them drink too much, have affairs, and react to the deaths of fellow soldiers. And we see what happens to one of them when the truck she is driving hits an explosive in the road, blowing it up. She survives, but her life may never be the same again. Deeply reported, beautifully written, and powerfully moving, Soldier Girls is “a breakthrough work...What Thorpe accomplishes in Soldier Girls is something far greater than describing the experience of women in the military. The book is a solid chunk of American history...Thorpe triumphs” (The New York Times Book Review).
|Author by||: David Capper|
In this book, we have hand-picked the most sophisticated, unanticipated, absorbing (if not at times crackpot!), original and musing book reviews of "The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan." Don't say we didn't warn you: these reviews are known to shock with their unconventionality or intimacy. Some may be startled by their biting sincerity; others may be spellbound by their unbridled flights of fantasy. Don't buy this book if: 1. You don't have nerves of steel. 2. You expect to get pregnant in the next five minutes. 3. You've heard it all.
|Author by||: Jonathan Clements|
|Editor||: Haus Publishing|
The Silk Road is not a place, but a journey, a route from the edges of the Mediterranean to the central plains of China, through high mountains and inhospitable deserts. For thousands of years its history has been a traveler’s history, of brief encounters in desert towns, snowbound passes and nameless forts. It was the conduit that first brought Buddhism, Christianity and Islam into China, and the site of much of the “Great Game” between 19th-century empires. Today, its central section encompasses several former Soviet republics, and the Chinese Autonomous Region of Xinjiang. The ancient trade route controversially crosses the sites of several forgotten kingdoms, buried in sand and only now revealing their secrets. A History of the Silk Road not only offers the reader a chronological outline of the region’s development, but also provides an invaluable introduction to its languages, literature, and arts. It takes a comprehensive and illuminating look at the rich history of this dynamic and little known region, and provides an easy-to-use reference source. Jonathan Clements pays particular attention to the fascinating historical sites which feature on any visitor’s itinerary and also gives special emphasis to the writings and reactions of travelers through the centuries.
|Author by||: Rajiv Chandrasekaran|
A National Book Award Finalist and New York Times Bestseller The Green Zone, Baghdad, Iraq, 2003: in this walled-off compound of swimming pools and luxurious amenities, Paul Bremer and his Coalition Provisional Authority set out to fashion a new, democratic Iraq. Staffed by idealistic aides chosen primarily for their views on issues such as abortion and capital punishment, the CPA spent the crucial first year of occupation pursuing goals that had little to do with the immediate needs of a postwar nation: flat taxes instead of electricity and deregulated health care instead of emergency medical supplies. In this acclaimed firsthand account, the former Baghdad bureau chief of The Washington Post gives us an intimate portrait of life inside this Oz-like bubble, which continued unaffected by the growing mayhem outside. This is a quietly devastating tale of imperial folly, and the definitive history of those early days when things went irrevocably wrong in Iraq.
|Author by||: David Rohde,Kristen Mulvihill|
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.
|Author by||: Paula Bronstein|
|Editor||: University of Texas Press|
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.
|Author by||: Qais Akbar Omar|
|Editor||: Knopf Canada|
The surprising, stunning book that took the publishing world by storm: a coming-of-age memoir of unimaginable perils and unexpected joys, steeped in the rhythms of folk tales and poetry, that is as unforgettable as it is rare--a treasure for readers. Qais Akbar Omar was born in Kabul in a time of relative peace. Until he was 7, he lived with his father, a high school physics teacher, and mother, a bank manager, in the spacious, garden-filled compound his grandfather had built. Noisy with the laughter of his cousins (with whom they lived in the typical Afghan style), fragrant with the scent of roses and apple blossoms, and rich in shady, tucked-away spots where Qais and his grandfather sat and read, home was the idyllic centre of their quiet, comfortable life. But in the wake of the Russian withdrawal and the bloody civil conflict that erupted, his family was forced to flee and take refuge in the legendary Fort of Nine Towers, a centuries-old palace in the hills on the far side of Kabul. On a perilous trip home, Omar and his father were kidnapped, narrowly escaping, and the family fled again, his parents leading their 6 children on a remarkable, sometimes wondrous journey. Hiding inside the famous giant Bamiyan Buddhas sculpture, and among Kurchi herders, Omar cobbles together an education, learning the beautiful art of carpet-weaving from a deaf mute girl, which will become the family's means of support. Against a backdrop of uncertainty, violence and absurdity, young Qais Omar weaves together a story--and a self--that is complex, colourful, and profound.
|Author by||: Eve Ensler|
|Editor||: Villard Books|
Drawing on conversations with hundreds of women about their genitalia, the author presents a collection of performance pieces from her one-woman show of the same name.
|Author by||: Yvonne Ridley|
Yvonne Ridley's terrifying 10 day detainment by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan struck a chord that continues to resonate around the world. At a time when the world was plunged into a state of unprecedented chaos and uncertainty following the terrorist atrocities in the US, Yvonne faced the ordeal of her life. Captured by the Taliban as she attempted to cross the Afghan border to report on the outbreak of war for the Sunday Express, Yvonne found her life hanging in the balance in the hands of the most reviled regime in the world. For Yvonne, an unexpected survival instinct kicked in that saw her face her captors not with fear, but with anger. Her courage and gutsiness, and that of her family, prompted the Taliban to release her, glad to be rid of such a so-called 'difficult' woman. This is Yvonne's full, true story. From her capture, to the ordeal she endured at the hands of the Taliban, to her eventual release; she offers a unique perspective into a way of life that remains a mystery to many. The friendships she formed with her fellow hostages, her feelings about her captors and their beliefs, and her discoveries -- many of which surprised and baffled her -- are all exclusively revealed in detail. Yvonne's story is a truly compelling and inspirational read.
|Author by||: Chris Ayres|
|Editor||: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic|
“Imagine George Costanza from Seinfeld being sent off to cover the Iraq War . . . Hilarious” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times). Chris Ayres is a small-town boy, a hypochondriac, and a neat freak with an anxiety disorder. Not exactly the picture of a war correspondent. But when his boss asks him if he would like to go to Iraq, he doesn’t have the guts to say no. After signing a one million dollar life-insurance policy, studying a tutorial on repairing severed limbs, and spending twenty thousand dollars on camping gear (only to find out that his bright yellow tent makes him a sitting duck), Ayres is embedded with a battalion of gung ho Marines who either shun him or threaten him when he files an unfavorable story. As time goes on, though, he begins to understand them (and his inexplicably enthusiastic fellow war reporters) more and more: Each night of terrifying combat brings, in the morning, something more visceral than he has ever experienced—the thrill of having won a fight for survival. A “heartbreakingly funny” memoir (Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead), War Reporting for Cowards tells, with “self-deprecating wit” (The New Yorker), the story of Iraq in a way that is extraordinarily honest, and bitterly hilarious. “Chris Ayres has invented a new genre: a rip-roaring tale of adventure and derring-don’t.” —Toby Young, author of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People “Darkly entertaining.” —Los Angeles Times “Ayres’s stories of life with Marines are gripping—in part because he’s the perfect neurotic foil.” —People
|Author by||: Janet Malcolm|
A seminal work and examination of the psychopathology of journalism. Using a strange and unprecedented lawsuit as her larger-than-life example -- the lawsuit of Jeffrey MacDonald, a convicted murderer, against Joe McGinniss, the author of Fatal Vision, a book about the crime -- she delves into the always uneasy, sometimes tragic relationship that exists between journalist and subject. In Malcolm's view, neither journalist nor subject can avoid the moral impasse that is built into the journalistic situation. When the text first appeared, as a two-part article in The New Yorker, its thesis seemed so radical and its irony so pitiless that journalists across the country reacted as if stung. Her book is a work of journalism as well as an essay on journalism: it at once exemplifies and dissects its subject. In her interviews with the leading and subsidiary characters in the MacDonald-McGinniss case -- the principals, their lawyers, the members of the jury, and the various persons who testified as expert witnesses at the trial -- Malcolm is always aware of herself as a player in a game that, as she points out, she cannot lose. The journalist-subject encounter has always troubled journalists, but never before has it been looked at so unflinchingly and so ruefully. Hovering over the narrative -- and always on the edge of the reader's consciousness -- is the MacDonald murder case itself, which imparts to the book an atmosphere of anxiety and uncanniness. The Journalist and the Murderer derives from and reflects many of the dominant intellectual concerns of our time, and it will have a particular appeal for those who cherish the odd, the off-center, and the unsolved.
|Author by||: Gail Caldwell|
|Editor||: Random House Trade|
From the New York Times bestselling author of Let's Take the Long Way Home comes a moving memoir about how the women's movement revolutionized and saved her life, from the 1960s to the #MeToo era. In a voice as candid as it is evocative, Gail Caldwell traces a path from her west Texas girlhood through her emergence as a young daredevil, then as a feminist--a journey that reflected seismic shifts in the culture itself. Caldwell's travels took her to California and Mexico and dark country roads, and the dangers she encountered were rivaled only by the personal demons she faced. Bright Precious Thing is the captivating story of a woman's odyssey, her search for adventure giving way to something more profound: the evolution of a writer and a woman, a struggle to embrace one's life as a precious thing. Told against a contrasting backdrop of the present day, including the author's friendship with a young neighborhood girl, Bright Precious Thing unfolds with the same heart and narrative grace of Caldwell's Let's Take the Long Way Home, called "a lovely gift to readers" by The Washington Post. Bright Precious Thing is a book about finding, then protecting, what we cherish most.
|Author by||: Rajiv Chandrasekaran|
|Editor||: A&C Black|
The author of Imperial Life in the Emerald City (winner of the 2007 Samuel Johnson Prize) now gives us the startling, behind-the-scenes story of the struggle between President Obama and the US military to remake Afghanistan.
|Author by||: Dionne Searcey|
|Editor||: Ballantine Books|
When a reporter for The New York Times uproots her family to move to West Africa, she manages her new role as breadwinner while finding women cleverly navigating extraordinary circumstances in a forgotten place for much of the Western world. "A story you will not soon forget."--Kathryn Bigelow, Academy Award-winning director of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty In 2015, Dionne Searcey was covering the economy for The New York Times, living in Brooklyn with her husband and three young children. Saddled with the demands of a dual-career household and motherhood in an urban setting, her life was in a rut. She decided to pursue a job as the paper's West Africa bureau chief, an amazing but daunting opportunity to cover a swath of territory encompassing two dozen countries and 500 million people. Landing with her family in Dakar, Senegal, she quickly found their lives turned upside down as they struggled to figure out their place in this new region, along with a new family dynamic where she was the main breadwinner flying off to work while her husband stayed behind to manage the home front. In Pursuit of Disobedient Women follows Searcey's sometimes harrowing, sometimes rollicking experiences of her work in the field, the most powerful of which, for her, center on the extraordinary lives and struggles of the women she encounters. As she tries to get an American audience subsumed by the age of Trump and inspired by a feminist revival to pay attention, she is gone from her family for sometimes weeks at a time, covering stories like Boko Haram-conscripted teen-girl suicide bombers or young women in small villages shaking up social norms by getting out of bad marriages. Ultimately, Searcey returns home to reconcile with skinned knees and school plays that happen without her and a begrudging husband thrown into the role of primary parent. Life, for Searcey, as with most of us, is a balancing act. She weaves a tapestry of women living at the crossroads of old-fashioned patriarchy and an increasingly globalized and connected world. The result is a deeply personal and highly compelling look into a modern-day marriage and a world most of us have barely considered. Readers will find Searcey's struggles, both with her family and those of the women she meets along the way, familiar and relatable in this smart and moving memoir.