on 18 June 2013
An hour invested in this book rewards you with an overview of Afghan's brutal history over the last 200 years beginning with being the unwilling 19th Century game board hosting "The Great Game" on which British and Russian opponents vied for influence by diplomacy and recourse to military means.
The book recounts how the British twice invaded and twice they were eventually repulsed at a terrible cost in lives on both sides with both sides complicit in atrocities. In once case the retreating British column lost 3000 people in a matter of a couple of days.
The book takes us through the 20th Century with various factions, tribes and other nation states riding on the ebb and flow of fortune, assassination and set piece battles in Afghanistan. The book concludes with the US Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden yet we all know there is far more history to come with the (planned) exit of most foreign forces over the next couple of years. The question is; will the next step be a cut and paste copy of the time after the Soviet's withdrawal? An updated version of this book several years from now will provide the answer - this really is history in the making and in terrible danger of repeating previous episodes at the expense of the Afghan civilians.
The book is made up of three main sections; a narrative history, biographies of the key players and a chronology of events. The pictures are a decent quality and do not pixelate when enlarged.