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Descent into Chaos: How the War Against Islamic Extremism is Being Lost in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia Hardcover – 3 Jul 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Kindle Edition
Hardcover, 3 Jul 2008
£138.97 £1.37
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (3 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713998431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713998436
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 3.7 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,059,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


'Ahmed Rashid, a journalist of the highest narrative and analytical gifts...tells a story from the viewpoint of a highly informed Pakistani who knows intimately almost all the leading players'
-- The Sunday Times

'Ahmed Rashid...has over the decades turned out to be something of a prophet in the region'
-- International Herald Tribune

'Compulsively readable.' -- The Evening Standard

'Descent into Chaos [is] a well-researched and urgently written account of the chronic problems of Afghanistan, Pakistan and their Central Asian neighbours... [A] remarkable book.'
-- Literary Review

'I've never had so many people queuing wanting to review a book in all the ten years I've been here. They were fighting over it.' -- The Economist, Literary editor

'The War and Peace of the early 21st century has yet to be written but, while we wait...Ahmed Rashid will nicely fill the gap' -- The Observer

Fascinating...should be required reading for the next president in Washington and all Nato leaders who have put the future of their military alliance on the line -- Financial Times

`...superbly researched account of post-9/11 Asia... Oustanding' -- Telegraph Review

`His knowledge of events and people [in Central Asia] is second to none' -- The Independent

`Rashid is a distinguished...international journalist who emerges from this book as both author and participant... [he] tells a story from which everyone can learn'
-- New Statesman


Since 9/11, the war in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq, the West has been fighting a 'War on Terror', through force and through the building of new societies in the region. In this clear and devastating account, with unparalleled access and intimate knowledge of the political players, "Descent into Chaos" chronicles our failure. Having reported from central Asia for a quarter of a century, Ahmed Rashid shows clearly why the war in Iraq is just a sideshow to the main event. Rather, it is Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the five Central Asian states that make up the crisis zone, for it is here that terrorism and Islamic extremism are growing stronger. Documenting with precision how intimately linked Pakistan is with the Taliban and other extremist movements, while remaining the US' main ally in the region, Rashid brings into focus the role of many regional issues in supporting extremism, from nuclear programmes to local rivalries, ineffectual peace-keeping to tyrannical rulers. For Rashid, at the heart of the failure in Iraq is the US' refusal to accept the need to build nations.

Ambitious and urgent, analyzing events, policies and personalities across the largest landmass in the world, "Descent into Chaos" chronicles with chilling accuracy why Islamic extremism is now stronger than ever.

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30 customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

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