Thursday, January 1, 2015

Review: Afghanistan: A Military History from Alexander the Great to the Fall of the Taliban by Stephen Tanner

Synopsis: For over 2,500 years, the forbidding territory of Afghanistan has served as a vital crossroads for armies and has witnessed history-shaping clashes between civilizations - Greeks, Arabs, Mongols, and Tartars, and in more recent times, Britain, Russia, and America. Following the events of September 11, 2001. America's military entered this land - land that for centuries has become a graveyard of empires. By spring 2002, America had defeated the Afghan Taliban regime, and the terrorists it harbored were on the run...But was America's easy victory proof of its military superiority, or were the Afghans merely eyeing the newcomers as they have watched foreign armies in centuries past, knowing time is on their side? (from the back of the book)

Review:  History books can be extremely boring, all dates and names jumbling into a brain-numbing mess. Tanner's work is a happy exception. Starting with Alexander the Great and moving to the early days of the America's entrance in the war, Tanner walks the reader through a land where the geography and culture, more than any other place, change the rules of warfare. It was fascinating, to see how the land shaped events, to see how men and empires suddenly change course when confronted with the rugged, harsh ways of Afghanistan. I found this book enthralling and I highly recommend.

Bookmarks: 8 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-0-306-81233-0
Date Finished: 11/15/2014
Pages: 351

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