The Taliban Shuffle

Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Author: Kim Barker

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 0385533322

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 240

View: 1757

A true-life Catch-22 set in the deeply dysfunctional countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, by one of the region’s longest-serving correspondents. Kim Barker is not your typical, impassive foreign correspondent—she is candid, self-deprecating, laugh-out-loud funny. At first an awkward newbie in Afghanistan, she grows into a wisecracking, seasoned reporter with grave concerns about our ability to win hearts and minds in the region. In The Taliban Shuffle, Barker offers an insider’s account of the “forgotten war” in Afghanistan and Pakistan, chronicling the years after America’s initial routing of the Taliban, when we failed to finish the job. When Barker arrives in Kabul, foreign aid is at a record low, electricity is a pipe dream, and of the few remaining foreign troops, some aren’t allowed out after dark. Meanwhile, in the vacuum left by the U.S. and NATO, the Taliban is regrouping as the Afghan and Pakistani governments floun­der. Barker watches Afghan police recruits make a travesty of practice drills and observes the disorienting turnover of diplomatic staff. She is pursued romantically by the former prime minister of Pakistan and sees adrenaline-fueled col­leagues disappear into the clutches of the Taliban. And as her love for these hapless countries grows, her hopes for their stability and security fade. Swift, funny, and wholly original, The Taliban Shuffle unforgettably captures the absurdities and tragedies of life in a war zone. From the Hardcover edition.
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An Enemy We Created

The Myth of the Taliban-Al Qaeda Merger in Afghanistan

Author: Alex Strick van Linschoten,Felix Kuehn

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199927316

Category: History

Page: 538

View: 730

To this day the belief is widespread that the Taliban and al-Qaeda are in many respects synonymous, that their ideology and objectives are closely intertwined and that they have made common cause against the West for decades. Yet this view has hardly ever been scrutinized or testedempirically. This is all the more surprising given that the West's present entanglement in Afghanistan is commonly predicated on the need to defeat the Taliban in order to forestall further terrorist attacks worldwide. There is thus an urgent need to re-examine the known facts of the Taliban-alQaeda relationship and to tell the story of the Taliban's encounter with internationalist militant Islamism. In An Enemy We Created, Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn focus on the complexity of the relationship between the two groups and the individuals who established them. The book, which has already been cited prominently in The New Yorker, is the first to examine in detail the relationship from the Taliban's perspective based on Arabic, Dari and Pashtu sources, drawing on the authors many years of experience in southern Afghanistan, the Taliban s heartland. Theyalso interviewed Taliban decision-makers, field commanders and ordinary fighters while immersing themselves in Kandahar's society. The story of those individuals who were to become the key decision-makers, and the relationships among all those involved from the mid-1990s onward, reveal howfrequently the Taliban and al-Qaeda diverged rather than converged. An Enemy We Created concludes that there is room to engage the Taliban on two fundamental issues: renouncing al-Qaeda and guaranteeing that Afghanistan will not be a sanctuary for international terrorists. Yet the insurgency is changing, and it could soon be too late to find a political solution.The authors contend that certain aspects of the campaign in Afghanistan, especially night raids and attempts to fragment and decapitate the Taliban, are transforming the resistance, creating more opportunities for al-Qaeda and helping it to attain its objectives.
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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (The Taliban Shuffle MTI)

Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Author: Kim Barker

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 1101973153

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 9902

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.
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My Life with the Taliban

Author: Abdul Salam Zaeef

Publisher: Hurst & Company Limited

ISBN: 1849041520

Category: Political Science

Page: 360

View: 3699

This is the autobiography of Abdul Salam Zaeef, a senior former member of the Taliban. His memoirs, translated from Pashto, are more than just a personal account of his extraordinary life. My Life with the Taliban offers a counter-narrative to the standard accounts of Afghanistan since 1979. Zaeef describes growing up in rural poverty in Kandahar province. Both of his parents died at an early age, and the Russian invasion of 1979 forced him to flee to Pakistan. He started fighting the jihad in 1983, during which time he was associated with many major figures in the anti-Soviet resistance, including the current Taliban head Mullah Mohammad Omar. After the war Zaeef returned to a quiet life in a small village in Kandahar, but chaos soon overwhelmed Afghanistan as factional fighting erupted after the Russians pulled out. Disgusted by the lawlessness that ensued, Zaeef was one among the former mujahidin who were closely involved in the discussions that led to the emergence of the Taliban, in 1994. Zaeef then details his Taliban career as civil servant and minister who negotiated with foreign oil companies as well as with Afghanistan's own resistance leader, Ahmed Shah Massoud. Zaeef was ambassador to Pakistan at the time of the 9/11 attacks, and his account discusses the strange "phoney war" period before the US-led intervention toppled the Taliban. In early 2002 Zaeef was handed over to American forces in Pakistan, notwithstanding his diplomatic status, and spent four and a half years in prison (including several years in Guantanamo) before being released without having been tried or charged with any offence. My Life with the Taliban offers a personal and privileged insight into the rural Pashtun village communities that are the Taliban's bedrock. It helps to explain what drives men like Zaeef to take up arms against the foreigners who are foolish enough to invade his homeland.
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No Good Men Among the Living

America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes

Author: Anand Gopal

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 1429945028

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 9379

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.
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The Taliban Shuffle

Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Author: Kim Barker

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 030747738X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 302

View: 4946

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.
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Every Man in This Village Is a Liar

An Education in War

Author: Megan Stack

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408814544

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 272

View: 4321

A few weeks after the planes crashed into the World Trade Centre on 9/11, LA Times journalist Megan Stack was thrust into Afghanistan and Pakistan, dodging gunmen and prodding warlords for information. She then travelled to other war ravaged countries of the Middle East including Israel and Libya, witnessing and telling the stories of the changing Muslim world. Stack relates her initial wild excitement and her slow disillusionment as the cost of violence outweighs the elusive promise of freedom and democracy. She reports from under bombardment in Lebanon; records the raw pain of suicide bombings in Israel; and one by one, marks the deaths and disappearance of those she interviews. Every Man in This Village is a Liar is a deeply human memoir about the wars of the twenty first century. Beautiful, savage and unsettling, it is an indispensible book of our times.
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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Author: David Shafer

Publisher: Mulholland Books

ISBN: 0316252646

Category: Fiction

Page: 432

View: 9595

One of Time Magazine's Ten Best Books of 2014 Selected by NPR, Slate, and Kirkus as one of the Best Books of 2014 Shortlisted for the Pacific Northwest Book Award Three young adults grapple with the usual thirty-something problems--boredom, authenticity, an omnipotent online oligarchy--in David Shafer's darkly comic debut novel. The Committee, an international cabal of industrialists and media barons, is on the verge of privatizing all information. Dear Diary, an idealistic online Underground, stands in the way of that takeover, using radical politics, classic spycraft, and technology that makes Big Data look like dial-up. Into this secret battle stumbles an unlikely trio: Leila Majnoun, a disillusioned non-profit worker; Leo Crane, an unhinged trustafarian; and Mark Deveraux, a phony self-betterment guru who works for the Committee. Leo and Mark were best friends in college, but early adulthood has set them on diverging paths. Growing increasingly disdainful of Mark's platitudes, Leo publishes a withering takedown of his ideas online. But the Committee is reading--and erasing--Leo's words. On the other side of the world, Leila's discoveries about the Committee's far-reaching ambitions threaten to ruin those who are closest to her. In the spirit of William Gibson and Chuck Palahniuk,Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is both a suspenseful global thriller and an emotionally truthful novel about the struggle to change the world in- and outside your head.
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The Faithful Scribe

A Story of Islam, Pakistan, Family, and War

Author: Shahan Mufti

Publisher: Other Press, LLC

ISBN: 1590515064

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 3512

A journalist explores his family’s history to reveal the hybrid cultural and political landscape of Pakistan, the world’s first Islamic democracy Shahan Mufti’s family history, which he can trace back fourteen hundred years to the inner circle of the prophet Muhammad, offers an enlightened perspective on the mystifying history of Pakistan. Mufti uses the stories of his ancestors, many of whom served as judges and jurists in Muslim sharia courts of South Asia for many centuries, to reveal the deepest roots—real and imagined—of Islamic civilization in Pakistan. More than a personal history, The Faithful Scribe captures the larger story of the world’s first Islamic democracy, and explains how the state that once promised to bridge Islam and the West is now threatening to crumble under historical and political pressure, and why Pakistan’s destiny matters to us all.
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The Cruise of the Snark

Author: Jack London

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 048614027X

Category: Transportation

Page: 368

View: 2669

Captivating tale of true adventures recounts, with wry good humor, the hardships of a two-year voyage aboard a diminutive and leaky craft. Enhanced with 119 original photographs.
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Farewell Kabul: From Afghanistan To A More Dangerous World

Author: Christina Lamb

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

ISBN: 0008171270

Category: History

Page: 640

View: 9364

From the award-winning co-author of ‘I Am Malala’, this book asks just how the might of NATO, with 48 countries and 140,000 troops on the ground, failed to defeat a group of religious students and farmers? How did it go so wrong?
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Soldier Girls

The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War

Author: Helen Thorpe

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451668120

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 416

View: 5341

“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).
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Life, on the Line

A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat

Author: Grant Achatz,Nick Kokonas

Publisher: Avery

ISBN: 1592406971

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 419

View: 2946

An award-winning chef describes how he lost his sense of taste to cancer, a setback that prompted him to discover alternate cooking methods and create his celebrated progressive cuisine.
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The Taliban Don't Wave

Author: Robert Semrau

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 111826147X

Category: History

Page: 312

View: 5919

Captain Robert Semrau’s military trial made international headlines—a Canadian soldier serving in Afghanistan arrested for allegedly killing a grievously wounded Taliban soldier in the field. The trial and its outcome are a matter of public record. What you are about to read about the tour of duty that inspired this book is not. What you are about to read is an emotionally draining and mind-snapping firsthand account of war on the ground in Afghanistan. It’s raw and explosive. Names have been changed to protect the brave and not so brave alike. What you are about to read is an account of soldiers who live, fight and die in a moonscape of a country where it’s sometimes hard to tell your friend from your enemy. It’s about trying to hold it together when a mortar attack is ripping your friends and allies apart, and your world unravels before your eyes. Rob Semrau wrote this book to tell us about the sheer hell that is the Stan, but also to recognize the incredible courage and compassion he witnessed in the heat of battle. The soldiers you are about to meet and the events that befall them will linger on in your mind long after you have closed these pages.
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Farm City

The Education of an Urban Farmer

Author: Novella Carpenter

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101060179

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 6581

Urban and rural collide in this wry, inspiring memoir of a woman who turned a vacant lot in downtown Oakland into a thriving farm Novella Carpenter loves cities-the culture, the crowds, the energy. At the same time, she can't shake the fact that she is the daughter of two back-to-the-land hippies who taught her to love nature and eat vegetables. Ambivalent about repeating her parents' disastrous mistakes, yet drawn to the idea of backyard self-sufficiency, Carpenter decided that it might be possible to have it both ways: a homegrown vegetable plot as well as museums, bars, concerts, and a twenty-four-hour convenience mart mere minutes away. Especially when she moved to a ramshackle house in inner city Oakland and discovered a weed-choked, garbage-strewn abandoned lot next door. She closed her eyes and pictured heirloom tomatoes, a beehive, and a chicken coop. What started out as a few egg-laying chickens led to turkeys, geese, and ducks. Soon, some rabbits joined the fun, then two three-hundred-pound pigs. And no, these charming and eccentric animals weren't pets; she was a farmer, not a zookeeper. Novella was raising these animals for dinner. Novella Carpenter's corner of downtown Oakland is populated by unforgettable characters. Lana (anal spelled backward, she reminds us) runs a speakeasy across the street and refuses to hurt even a fly, let alone condone raising turkeys for Thanksgiving. Bobby, the homeless man who collects cars and car parts just outside the farm, is an invaluable neighborhood concierge. The turkeys, Harold and Maude, tend to escape on a daily basis to cavort with the prostitutes hanging around just off the highway nearby. Every day on this strange and beautiful farm, urban meets rural in the most surprising ways. For anyone who has ever grown herbs on their windowsill, tomatoes on their fire escape, or obsessed over the offerings at the local farmers' market, Carpenter's story will capture your heart. And if you've ever considered leaving it all behind to become a farmer outside the city limits, or looked at the abandoned lot next door with a gleam in your eye, consider this both a cautionary tale and a full-throated call to action. Farm City is an unforgettably charming memoir, full of hilarious moments, fascinating farmers' tips, and a great deal of heart. It is also a moving meditation on urban life versus the natural world and what we have given up to live the way we do.
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The House of Unexpected Sisters

No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (18)

Author: Alexander McCall Smith

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 1101871385

Category: Fiction

Page: 240

View: 3961

Precious Ramotswe learns valuable lessons about first impressions and forgiveness in this latest installment of the beloved and best-selling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are approached by their part-time colleague, Mr. Polopetsi, with a troubling story: a woman, accused of being rude to a valued customer, has been wrongly dismissed from her job at an office furniture store. Never one to let an act of injustice go unanswered, Mma Ramotswe begins to investigate, but soon discovers unexpected information that causes her to reluctantly change her views about the case. Other surprises await our intrepid proprietress in the course of her inquiries. Mma Ramotswe is puzzled when she happens to hear of a local nurse named Mingie Ramotswe. She thought she knew everybody by the name of Ramotswe, and that they were all related. Who is this mystery lady? Then, she is alerted by Mma Potokwani that an unpleasant figure from her past has recently been spotted in town. Mma Ramotswe does her best to avoid the man, but it seems that he may have returned to Botswana specifically to seek her out. What could he want from her? With the generosity and good humor that guide all her endeavors, Mma Ramotswe will untangle these questions for herself and for her loved ones, ultimately bringing to light important truths about friendship and family—both the one you’re born with and the one you choose.
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The Longest War

The Enduring Conflict Between America and Al-Qaeda

Author: Peter L. Bergen

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0743278941

Category: History

Page: 496

View: 5060

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.
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The Much Too Promised Land

America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace

Author: Aaron David Miller

Publisher: Bantam

ISBN: 0553384147

Category: Political Science

Page: 407

View: 2652

A Middle East advisor examines efforts to broker peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors; tackles complex issues of history, religion, culture, domestic politics, national security, and foreign policy; and offers practical solutions for the future.
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Celine

A novel

Author: Peter Heller

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0451493907

Category: Fiction

Page: 352

View: 4298

From the best-selling author of The Dog Stars and The Painter, a luminous, masterful novel of suspense--the story of Celine, an elegant, aristocratic private eye who specializes in reuniting families, trying to make amends for a loss in her own past. Working out of her jewel box of an apartment at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, Celine has made a career of tracking down missing persons, and she has a better record at it than the FBI. But when a young woman, Gabriela, asks for her help, a world of mystery and sorrow opens up. Gabriela's father was a photographer who went missing on the border of Montana and Wyoming. He was assumed to have died from a grizzly mauling, but his body was never found. Now, as Celine and her partner head to Yellowstone National Park, investigating a trail gone cold, it becomes clear that they are being followed--that this is a case someone desperately wants to keep closed. Inspired by the life of Heller’s own remarkable mother, a chic and iconoclastic private eye, Celine is a deeply personal novel, a wildly engrossing story of family, privilege, and childhood loss. Combining the exquisite plotting and gorgeous evocation of nature that have become his hallmarks, Peter Heller gives us his finest work to date.
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The Upstairs Wife

An Intimate History of Pakistan

Author: Rafia Zakaria

Publisher: Beacon Press

ISBN: 0807080462

Category: Aunts

Page: 264

View: 1508

"A memoir of Karachi through the eyes of its women. Rafia Zakaria's Muslim-Indian family immigrated to Pakistan from Bombay in 1962, feeling the situation for Muslims in India was precarious and that Pakistan represented enormous promise. And for some time it did. Her family prospered, and the city prospered. But in the 1980s, Pakistan's military dictators began an Islamization campaign designed to legitimate their rule--a campaign that particularly affected women. The political became personal for Zakaria's family when her Aunt Amina's husband did the unthinkable and took a second wife, a betrayal of kin and custom that shook the foundation of her family. The Upstairs Wife dissects the complex strands of Pakistani history, from the problematic legacies of colonialism to the beginnings of terrorist violence to increasing misogyny, interweaving them with the arc of Amina's life to reveal the personal costs behind ever-more restrictive religious edicts and cultural conventions. As Amina struggles to reconcile with a marriage and a life that had fallen below her expectations, we come to know the dreams and aspirations of the people of Karachi and the challenges of loving it not as an imagined city of Muslim fulfillment but as a real city of contradictions and challenges"--
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