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Recently read: The Taliban and the Crisis of Afghanistan

[Originally published at the now defunct group blog explananda.com]

Posted on April 9, 2009
Tags: book_reviews

ed. Robert D. Crews and Amin Tarzi. The Taliban and the Crisis of Afghanistan

A collection of academic papers about the Taliban movement, past and present. These are by scholars and written, I think, for scholars. But the wealth of detail and insight here makes it worth the trouble for a non-specialist if she wants to move past a lot of superficial reporting about the region. Topics include the causes of the rise of the Taliban; the intersection of the Taliban’s religious fanaticism and Pashtun politics; the Taliban’s anti-modern approach to the private sphere; and the present day neo-Taliban. This last issue is of particular relevance to the situation in the country today. The media often speaks about the Taliban, but the movement splintered after its defeat, with multiple spokesmen issuing conflicting demands and threats with little apparent coordination between them.