Picture of author.
23+ Works 2,627 Members 34 Reviews 4 Favorited

About the Author

Pakistani journalist and bestselling author Ahmed Rashid was born in Rawalpindi in 1948. He was educated at Malvern College in England, Government College in Lahore, and Fitzwilliam College in Cambridge. He works as a correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and the Daily Telegraph and show more writes for the Wall Street Journal, The Nation, and academic journals. His titles include Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia, and Descent into Chaos. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Includes the names: Ahmed Rashid, Ahmed Rashid

Image credit: Ahmed Rashid. Photo courtesy Chatham House.

Works by Ahmed Rashid


Associated Works

Silk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East? (2006) — Introduction — 69 copies
Afghanistan Revealed: Beyond the Headlines (2012) — Contributor — 6 copies


Common Knowledge



"Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia" by Ahmed Rashid is a very complex, very intricate history of Afghanistan's recent past. As a Pakistan journalist covering Central Asia, Rashid was a first hand witness to the rise of the Taliban in the early '90s. In foreign policy circles, he is known as one of the few true experts of the ethnic, religious, and political strife that has plagued Central Asia.

In this book, Rashid holds few punches when it comes to who deserves the blame for what has happened in Afghanistan and the broader region. Complicit agencies in the United States, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the former Soviet Union take the brunt of the blame for arming various factions including the Taliban. Homegrown religious schools and ethnic rivalries also contributed to frequent disasters. When Texas oil companies brought Taliban leaders to Houston in order to fuel a rivalry with other international companies competing for pipeline contracts, things only got worse.

The author does not present any solutions to solve the crisis of Afghanistan perhaps because, as his history shows, outside involvement has only created more destruction in the area.

Rashid's history is very complete, but that also makes it very complicated. Although I believe he did his best to keep it simple, the constant flow of proper nouns made this book a little difficult to follow.
… (more)
mvblair | 16 other reviews | Dec 8, 2022 |
Is yr country invading Afghanistan? Who'll it be next mnth? What's the invasion flavor of the mnth?! Anyway, I decided to read this to try to educate myself about Afhgani politics around the time the US government decided to invade there. It's published by Yale University Press - wch immediately makes it suspect as ruling elite propaganda - but I still found it to be informative & even-handed anyway. Will fundamentalist religious assholes NEVER GO AWAY?! & by that, I mean the ones in Afghanistan AND the United States (etc) - in case that wasn't already obvious.… (more)
tENTATIVELY | 16 other reviews | Apr 3, 2022 |
This book has sold 1½ million copies... and yet no one at the publisher has bothered to render the English into such as might be used by a native speaker of the language. Far too many sentences had to be read multiple times in order to try to work out what the author (probably) intended to say.

Perhaps worse, no one has bothered to go through the text and fix the many numerical inconsistencies. One simply cannot trust the numbers, because they are too-frequently inconsistent with others presented elsewhere in the book (or even on the same page).

I really wish that this book was as good as I had expected it to be, because the subject is certainly of considerable importance.
… (more)
N7DR | 16 other reviews | Mar 1, 2022 |
interesting and informative, a fire-hose of relevant background information as well as a solid overall feel for the region and the circumstances that allowed the Taliban to take root and polarize Afghanistan.
royragsdale | 16 other reviews | Sep 22, 2021 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by

Charts & Graphs