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📒Afghanistan ✍ Thomas Barfield
✏Afghanistan Book Summary : Afghanistan traces the historic struggles and the changing nature of political authority in this volatile region of the world, from the Mughal Empire in the sixteenth century to the Taliban resurgence today. Thomas Barfield introduces readers to the bewildering diversity of tribal and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, explaining what unites them as Afghans despite the regional, cultural, and political differences that divide them. He shows how governing these peoples was relatively easy when power was concentrated in a small dynastic elite, but how this delicate political order broke down in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when Afghanistan's rulers mobilized rural militias to expel first the British and later the Soviets. Armed insurgency proved remarkably successful against the foreign occupiers, but it also undermined the Afghan government's authority and rendered the country ever more difficult to govern as time passed. Barfield vividly describes how Afghanistan's armed factions plunged the country into a civil war, giving rise to clerical rule by the Taliban and Afghanistan's isolation from the world. He examines why the American invasion in the wake of September 11 toppled the Taliban so quickly, and how this easy victory lulled the United States into falsely believing that a viable state could be built just as easily. Afghanistan is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how a land conquered and ruled by foreign dynasties for more than a thousand years became the "graveyard of empires" for the British and Soviets, and what the United States must do to avoid a similar fate.
📒British Muslim Fictions ✍ Claire Chambers
✏British Muslim Fictions Book Summary : What does it mean to be a writer of Muslim heritage in the UK today? Is there such a thing as "Muslim fiction"? In a collection of revealing new interviews, Claire Chambers talks to writers including Tariq Ali, Ahdaf Soueif, Hanif Kureishi, and Abdulrazak Gurnah to discuss the impact that their Muslim heritage has had on their writing, and to argue that this body of writing is some of the most important and politically engaged fiction of recent years. From literary techniques and influences to the political and cultural debates that matter to Muslims in Britain and beyond -- such as the hijab, the war on terror and the Rushdie affair -- these thirteen interviews challenge the idea of a monolithic voice for Islam in Britain. Instead, together they paint a picture of the diversity of voices creating "British Muslim fictions" which ultimately enriches the cultural, social and political landscape of contemporary Britain.