Top positive review
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The ghosts of the present haunt this book about the past.
on 28 January 2013
The ghosts of the present haunt this book about the past. William Dalrymple is far too an intelligent and subtle a writer to make too many overt references to the currennt War in Aghanistan but The Return of A King cannot help but resonate in light of our recent invasion of Afghanistan.
The book is grand in scope, encompassing court life, the Great Game and military history. Dalrymple's thumbnail biographies and marshalling of his material (which balances pace with detail) are excellent. Unlike most accounts of the retreat from Afghanistan the author gives due weight to the stories of Shah Shuja and Dost Mohammed. It seems that the author has uncovered some new sources to do so too.
Although I'm a fan of reading books on kindle, I would recommend you buy print copy of this book. The plates are superb and numerous.
A tremendous book. If just half a dozen History books come along this year which are the equal of this we'll be fortunate.