T A L I B A N  -  T H E   T R U E   S T O R Y  O F  T H E  W O R LD ' S  F I E R C E S T  G U E R I L LA  F I G H T E R S


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by James Fergusson


UK Publication Date: (“Taliban – The True Story of the World’s Most Feared Guerrilla Fighters”) Aug 2010

US Publication Date (‘Taliban: The Unknown Enemy”): May 2011

Italian Publication Date (“Taliban: Il Nemico Sconosciuto”): Jan 2012


 









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by James Fergusson


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P R E S S

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P R E V I E W

Edinburgh Literary Festival

August 16th and 17th

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S Y N O P S I S

Fifteen years ago, southern Afghanistan was in even greater chaos than it is now. The Russians, who had occupied the country throughout the 1980s, were long gone. The disparate ethnic and religious leaders who had united to eject the invaders - the famous mujaheddin - were at each others' throats. For the rural poor of Kandahar province, life was almost impossible.

On 12 October 1994 a small group of religious students decided to take matters into their own hands. Led by an illiterate village mullah with one eye, some 200 of them surrounded and took Spin Boldak, a trucking stop on the border with Pakistan. From this short and unremarkable border skirmish, a legend was born. The students' numbers swelled as news of their triumph spread. The Taliban, as they now called themselves - taliban is the plural of talib, literally 'one who seeks knowledge' - had a simple mission statement: the disarmament of the population, and the establishment of a theocracy based on Sharia law. They fought with a religious zeal that the warring mujaheddin could not match.

By February 1995, this people's revolt had become a national movement; 18 months later Kabul fell, and the country was effectively theirs. James Fergusson's fascinating account of this extraordinary story will be required reading for anyone who wishes to understand the situation in Afghanistan, now and for the future...


L I N K S

Online review by Sarah Gumbley
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5hbL_GU4P4

Interview with Paul Holmes, TVNZ, 3 Oct 2010
http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/q-james-fergusson-interview-3815830

Radio New Zealand, 8 May 2011
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2488709/james-fergusson-inside-the-taliban

Interview with David Larsen, New Zealand Herald, 12 April 2011
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=10718748

Auckland Festival review, Linda Herrick, New Zealand Herald, 14 May 2011
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=10725533

At the Sydney Writers Festival, May 2011
http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2011/06/09/3240010.htm

Interview in Sunday Mail (Scotland)
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/WE+NEED+TO+GET+OUT+..WE+NEED+TO+TALK%3B+Expert+warns+Allies+missed...-a0235112091

Review by ‘Maphead’
http://maphead.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/sympathy-for-the-taliban-james-fergusson-makes-me-wonder/


A R T I C L E S

tal  Link to article here

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/meet-the-taliban-not-as-bad-as-you-think/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/exclusive-afghanistan--behind-enemy-lines-2133667.html?origin=internalSearch

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/james-fergusson-the-taliban-dont-want-to-talk-until-the-foreigners-have-left-2133668.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/james-fergusson-peace-with-the-taliban-it-is-possible-1779249.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/15/james-fergusson-afghanistan-women-west

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-fergusson/taliban-intercontinental-hotel-attack_b_886889.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1034462/Journey-inside-Taliban-Britons-dangerous-secret-meeting-warlords-surrender.html  


R E V I E W S

“One of the best... a brave book – Fergusson is prepared to probe beyond the cliche” – Nick Meo, Daily Telegraph (For full review see:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/non_fictionreviews/8064141/Taliban-The-True-Story-of-the-Worlds-Most-Feared-Fighting-Force-by-James-Fergusson-review.html )

“Fergusson’s arresting achievement is to introduce our Afghan nemesis in their own words”– Michael Kerrigan, (Four Stars), Guardian

“Convincing... on the right side of history” – Emma Duncan, Observer

 “Excellent and very readable” – Time Out (Book of the Week)

“A useful primer” – Sunday Times

“Essential reading . . . Highly recommended” – Frank Ledwidge, RUSI Journal
“Crystal-clear writing and first-rate analysis...devastating... this is a stunning book. Meticulously researched and deeply thoughtful, it is explanatory journalism at its best.” – Jon Stephenson, HM Forces magazine

“Fergusson’s critique of the West’s failures in Afghanistan is devastating, and his insightful conversations with Afghans, including Taliban and their supporters, are very much worth reading.” - San Francisco Chronicle

“This sympathetic and eye-opening account should be required reading for anyone seeking to understand contemporary Afghanistan.” - Boston Globe

“An intriguing argument for negotiations with the Taliban presented as the necessary precondition for a political settlement and withdrawal” - Kirkus Reviews

 “Fergusson…offers a portrait of the history and current status of the Taliban in which he hopes to counter Western images of the group as mere ‘bearded bigots’ and to impress upon the reader that the only way out of the mess that is the war in Afghanistan will be through a negotiated settlement with the Taliban” - Reference and Research Book News

Extremely intelligent and comprehensive look at what the Taliban are, what the misconceptions about them are and why they are re-emerging in Afghanistan. The book is very fair and shows the good and bad sides of the Taliban, the mistakes of the US and the other troop-sending countries, and offers solutions on how the conflicts MIGHT be solved. Overall an excellent book – “Lukas,” Goodreads.com


Details

  • Author James Fergusson
  • Publisher Transworld Publishers Ltd (United Kingdom)
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (Aug 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0593066359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593066355

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