Ahmed Rashid's Taliban: The story of the Afghan Warlords
is the single best book available on the subject of the regime in Afghanistan responsible for harbouring the terrorist Osama bin Laden. Rashid is a Pakistani journalist who has spent most of his career reporting on the region--he has personally met and interviewed many of the Taliban's shadowy leaders. Taliban
was written and published before the massacres of September 11, 2001, yet it is essential reading for anyone who hopes to understand the aftermath of that black day. It includes details on how and why the Taliban came to power, the government's oppression of ordinary citizens (especially women), the heroin trade, oil intrigue, and--in a vitally relevant chapter--bin Laden's sinister rise to power. These pages contain stories of mass slaughter, beheadings and the Taliban's crushing war against freedom: Under Mullah Omar, it has banned everything from kite flying to singing and dancing at weddings. Rashid is for the most part an objective reporter, though his rage sometimes (and understandably) comes to the surface: "The Taliban were right, their interpretation of Islam was right, and everything else was wrong and an expression of human weakness and a lack of piety", he notes with sarcasm. He has produced a compelling portrait of modern evil. --John Miller
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'[An] excellent study which... has now sold more than 750,000 copies in  languages.' - Financial Times 'It took our political classes an unconscionable time to wake up to the importance of Ahmed Rashid's definitive study of the Taliban. The book has been a phenomenal success.' - The Independent 'Read this remarkable book and the bewildering complexity of Afghan politics and the deadly over-spill of chaos, narcotics and sectarian violence into the surrounding region will become clear.' - Sunday Times 'a chilling and masterly study of the Taliban.' - Times Literary Supplement 'Rashid has a feel for the characters in this imbroglio, who are as outlandish as any from the old Great Game.' - Sunday Telegraph 'Ahmed Rashid's book describes the stuff that Bond [films] are made of. Warring tribes, clashing empires, fanatics with dreams of world domination, violence and sex... If anyone understands the place Rashid does.' - The Observer 'the book they are all reading.' - The Guardian