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Great Books About the History Afghanistan

Updated on August 16, 2014

3 Great Reads on Afghanistan!

I am partial to reading physical books, but these are also available as e-books on Kindles and Nooks.
I am partial to reading physical books, but these are also available as e-books on Kindles and Nooks.


Afghanistan is a country that has seen it's fair share of war and unrest. From war in the times of Alexander the Great, the 1980s war with Russia, to the present day war with the U.S. against the Taliban, there is much more to be learned about Afghanistan. Culture, history, language, and more can be found in Afghanistan like in every other country but few countries have such a rich and interesting history as does the country of Afghanistan.

The Country of Afghanistan

5 stars for In the Graveyard of Empires

1) In the Graveyard of Empires

A great book on the political history of Afghanistan during the war that began in 2001 until 2008 when the author's book was published. Author Seth G. Jones does a wonderful job presenting a fundamental overview of the involvement of US operations in Afghanistan. Are you going to become an expert after this book? No. But for someone such as myself that had no clue as to what was going on in Afghanistan or any history of Afghanistan for that matter, I found this book to be a great and interesting read. Jones gives a brief history of the invasions and occupations of Alexander the Great, the British, and the Soviet Union. Although these are just briefly explained I was unaware of the long history of war, invasion, and occupation of Afghanistan. Probably one of my favorite books about the more recent history of Afghanistan.

2) Ghost Wars

A lengthier book, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, reads almost like a Tom Clancy novel but keeps the events from seeming like they are something of fiction. Author Steve Coll delves into the CIAs involvement in Afghanistan pre-9/11, the CIAs involvment in the evolution of the Taliban, the mujahdeen, and Al Qaeda. He covers the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and he also covers developments in the Carter, Reagan, and Clinton presidencies. One interesting thing I found in this book is the details covered on Ahmed Moussad, the leader of the Northern Alliance, and how with slightly a little more help from the US or other countries could have possibly destroyed the Taliban pre-9/11 or at least distrupted them enough to decrease chances someone like bin Laden would be able to use Afghanistan for their evil deeds.

3) Man Hunt

A must read on the hunt for Osama bin Laden. For those of you that are fans of Zero Dark Thirty and books like No Easy Day then this book is great because it tells of the actions of those that spent most of their careers following every minute detail or lead in the attempt to capture Osama bin Laden. All of the efforts of these people working in the intelligence community are the direct reason the US was able to find Osama bin Laden, aka UBL. I think the actions carried out by the Navy Seal team that was part of Operation Neptune Spear has gotten much deserved attention, but I also feel that it may have overshadowed the work done by those in the intelligence community that spent most of their career hunting UBL. Only a small part of the book, but somrthing that I found extremely interesting is the pictures that are included in this book. From pictures of Osama bin Laden to other key Al Qaeda figures like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to the compound Osama bin Laden was living in and eventually where he was killed. This book is for those that are more interested in the search for Osama bin Laden, but does show an important aspect of Afghanistan's history related to the involvement of Osama bin Laden and his relationship with the Tabliban.

Abbottabad, Pakistan

A markerAbbottabad, Pakistan -
Abbottābad, Pakistan
get directions

City where Osama bin Laden's compund was located.

If you like Man Hunt, you will enjoy Zero Dark Thirty

Which book sounds most interesting to you?

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