Taliban by James Fergusson
The Unknown Enemy

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From a small group of religious students formed in 1994, the Taliban quickly grew into a national movement that occupied all of Afghanistan. Led by the mysterious Mullah Omar, the group established a theocracy based on strict observance of Sharia law. When the Americans overthrew the Taliban in 2001, the United States thought the regime had been defeated. Yet today, nine years later, the Taliban continue to wage a bloody insurgency.

In this extraordinary and compelling account of the rise, fall, and return of the Taliban, author James Fergusson, who has unique access to its shadowy leaders, presents the reality of themovement so often mischaracterized in the press. His surprising and, perhaps, uncomfortable conclusions about our current strategy in Afghanistan should be required reading for anyone who wishes to understand this intractable conflict.


About James Fergusson

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James Fergusson is a freelance journalist and foreign correspondent who has written for many publications, including The Times of London and The Economist. He is the author of Taliban: The Unknown Enemy and the award-winning A Million Bullets. He lives in Edinburgh.
Published May 24, 2011 by Da Capo Press. 434 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, War. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The misrepresentation leaves out what was going on in Afghanistan before the Taliban took power in 1996, and what they tried to put an end to, and ignores the fact that there are different views within the movement.

Jun 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Taliban: The Unknown Enemy

The Guardian

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One of the few subjects which unite left and right in the west is dislike of the Taliban.

Sep 12 2010 | Read Full Review of Taliban: The Unknown Enemy

The Telegraph

Since the attacks of September 11 2001, we have demonised the Taliban.

Oct 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Taliban: The Unknown Enemy


“No one really knows.” On the other hand, perhaps it says something about the intractability of the Afghan problem that not even Sandy Gall, with all his vast experience, can predict how the war against the Taliban will end.

Jan 29 2012 | Read Full Review of Taliban: The Unknown Enemy

The Army Rumour Service

his CV includes extended periods of time in Afghanistan and many contacts on both sides of the conflict, allowing him to make a considered analysis of the whys and wherefores of the Taliban, as an enemy and as a potential future government.

Apr 17 2012 | Read Full Review of Taliban: The Unknown Enemy

The Wargamer

Paul Robinson reads up and gives us his opinion on James Fergusson's coverage of the Taliban from its creation in 1994 to the current situation in late 2010.

Jun 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Taliban: The Unknown Enemy

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