As a frighteningand proliferatingnew force in the Islamic world, the Taliban extremists who now control Afghanistan are likely to be the subject of increasing global attention; they are the most radical of all Islamic fundamentalist movements. This book is the only thorough book-length study on the Taliban to date and sets them in the wider context of world politics. It covers not just the Taliban, but also the geo-politics of the region and controversial issues such as Islamic fundamentalism, Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban's treatment of women, the drug trade, and the oil politics of Central Asia. It is likely to be an indispensable source to a wide array of professionals and other interested readers.
The broader story here is powerful. Mr. Rashid' s book is essentially a history of the destruction of one of the more ruggedly enduring Central Asia cultures. It depicts how Afghanistan, which survived the British-Russian Great Game of the 19th century, has been reduced to a fragmented, failed state in a vicious new Great Game at the end of the 20th.... One learns... a great deal from Mr. Rashid' s book about the nature of local Central Asian politics and the consequences of interference by outside powers.... [A] valuable and informative work."