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The Punishment of Virtue by Sarah Chayes

The Punishment of Virtue (edition 2006)

by Sarah Chayes (Author)

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204686,938 (3.97)5
Title:The Punishment of Virtue
Authors:Sarah Chayes (Author)
Info:University of Queensland Press (2006)
Collections:Your library
Tags:Afghanistan, Afghan Soviet War, Afghan American War, Taliban, Insurgency

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The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban by Sarah Chayes



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Sarah Chayes was an NPR reporter started reporting from Afghanistan in 2001. Eventually she quit her job to help found an NGO which ran development projects in Kandahar (the so-called 'capital' of the Taliban). Eventually, as the Taliban insurgency against the NATO-supported govt. began to pick up and reporters and journalists retreated "behind the wire" she became virtually the only American living in Kandahar itself. This is a chronicle of her time there between 2001 and 2005 and her assessment of what went wrong. The story starts with a funeral - that of her friend, the chief of police in Kandahar - and the author's determination to figure our how exactly he died and who killed him.

This is an outstanding book and probably the best look at what went wrong in the American-led occupation of Afghanistan from the ground level. Sarah Chayes herself comes across as tough, highly independent-minded, deeply sympathetic to the plight of the ordinary Afghan. Its an extraordinary book by an extraordinary person. ( )
2 vote iftyzaidi | Jan 1, 2012 |
Regardless of whether the author's analysis of the situation in Afghanistan is correct, I know a lot more about it after reading this book. ( )
  marthas | Jun 30, 2008 |
Written by journalist Sarah Chayes, this is a story about Afghanistan that is both insightful and absorbing while managing to avoid so many cliches that are dragged up by other books written by 'insiders' about Afghanistan.

Chayes originally travelled to Afghanistan as a journalist after September 2001 and remains int he country working as an aid-worker. While sometimes bewildered by a strange culture and society, she soon gains a good understanding of how things work, to the point that she is often telling the US military and Afghan political aparatus how they should be doing their job, with varying degrees of success.

This would be a very good introductory volume for a reader who wanted to understand the development of Afghanistan since the supposed defeat of the Taliban - it touches on the important points, including the history of Afghanistan, yet never becomes too technical or esoteric. There are extensive endnotes that will point the interested reader to other sources on the subject. ( )
2 vote ForrestFamily | May 9, 2007 |
An excellent account of the events in Afghanistan since September of 2001, by an ex-journalist who has been on the ground in the country for virtually the whole time and has been close to many of the key players, both Afghan and American. ( )
  Jestak | Dec 9, 2006 |
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The road to Kahkrez is graveled now, a hard right turn off cement thick enough to bear the weight of Soviet tanks.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143112066, Paperback)

As a former star reporter for NPR, Sarah Chayes developed a devoted listenership for her on-site reports on conflicts around the world. In The Punishment of Virtue, she reveals the misguided U.S. policy in Afghanistan in the wake of the defeat of the Taliban, which has severely undermined the effort to build democracy and allowed corrupt tribal warlords back into positions of power and the Taliban to re-infiltrate the country. This is an eyeopening chronicle that highlights the often infuriating realities of a vital front in the war on terror, exposing deeper, fundamental problems with current U.S. strategy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:51 -0400)

Presents an account of the return to the violence and corruption of warlord activity in Afghanistan after the displacement of the Taliban, revealing how the U.S. government assisted the return of corrupt militia commanders to the country.

(summary from another edition)

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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