Ahmed Rashid, whose masterful account of Afghanistan's Taliban regime became required reading after September 11, turns his legendary skills as an investigative journalist to five adjacent Central Asian Republics-Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan-where religious repression, political corruption, and extreme poverty have created a fertile climate for militant Islam. Based on groundbreaking research and numerous interviews, Rashid explains the roots of fundamentalist rage in Central Asia, describes the goals and activities of its militant organizations, including Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda, and suggests ways of neutralizing the threat and bringing stability to the troubled region. A timely and pertinent work, Jihad is essential reading for anyone who seeks to gain a better understanding of a region we overlook at our peril.
[An] eye-opener on a region many Americans. . . may known only through National Geographic. . . This is first-class reporting.