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Afghanistan: A Modern History

Afghanistan: A Modern History
Angelo Rasanayagam

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Afghanistan dominates the news today, as it often did during the Soviet occupation two decades ago. But even in the 19th and early 20th centuries at the height of the Great Game, Afghanistan was the focal point of East-West relations. Squeezed between Russia, China, India and Persia, its tortured history provides an extraordinary glimpse into the patterns of world politics. Today, Afghanistan sits at the pivot of a region where a new Great Game is taking shape, pitched between America, its rivals and the peoples of Central Asia.

Author Info

Angelo Rasanayagam was Chief of Mission for the UN in Iran and a number of other countries, before becoming Director of the UNHCR office in Peshawar, Pakistan. He now lives in Geneva.


Well written, succinct, accessible, analytical, objective and balanced this is one of the best introductions to the history of modern Afghanistan available to the general public.
– BBC Persian Service

This is a magisterial study of the troubled nation, from the accession of the Iron Amir in 1889 up to the Taliban, the war of the winter of 2001–02, and search for a new state structure thereafter.
– History Today

If you want an insider's interpretation of modern Afghanistan (and one that is remarkably free from one-sided ideology), this is an excellent primer.
– Sydney Morning Herald

Rasanayagam offers valuable insights into a land once again abandoned by those who claimed to befriend it – and highlights the message sent by this abandonment to the region as a whole.
– Law Society Journal

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.

ISBN: 9781850438571
Publication Date: 25 Aug 2005
Number of Pages: 336
Height: 234
Width: 156

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