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Asia - History
The Doctor and the Saint: Caste, Race, and Annihilation of Caste, the Debate Between B.R. Ambedkar and M.K. Gandhi
The Doctor and the Saint
Caste, Race, and Annihilation of Caste, the Debate Between B.R. Ambedkar and M.K. Gandhi
Paperback      ISBN: 160846797x

To best understand and address the inequality in India today, Arundhati Roy insists we must examine both the political development and influence of M. K. Gandhi and why B. R. Ambedkar's brilliant challenge to his near-divine status was suppressed by India's elite. In Roy's analysis, we see that Ambedkar's fight for justice was systematically sidelined in favor of policies that reinforced caste, resulting in the current nation of India: independent of British rule, globally powerful, and marked to this day by the caste system.

This book situates Ambedkar's arguments in their vital historical context-- namely, as an extended public political debate with Mohandas Gandhi. "For more than half a century--throughout his adult life-- Gandhi's] pronouncements on the inherent qualities of black Africans, untouchables and the laboring classes remained consistently insulting," writes Roy. "His refusal to allow working-class people and untouchables to create their own political organizations and elect their own representatives remained consistent too."

In The Doctor and the Saint, Roy exposes some uncomfortable, controversial, and even surprising truths about the political thought and career of India's most famous and most revered figure. In doing so she makes the case for why Ambedkar's revolutionary intellectual achievements must be resurrected, not only in India but throughout the world.

"Arundhati Roy is incandescent in her brilliance and her fearlessness."

--Junot D az

"The fierceness with which Arundhati Roy loves humanity moves my heart."

--Alice Walker

Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-89
Afgantsy
The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-89
Hardcover      ISBN: 019983265x

The story of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan is well known: the expansionist Communists overwhelmed a poor country as a means of reaching a warm-water port on the Persian Gulf. Afghan mujahideen upset their plans, holding on with little more than natural fighting skills, until CIA agents
came to the rescue with American arms. Humiliated in battle, the Soviets hastily retreated. It is a great story-but it never happened.

In this brilliant, myth-busting account, Rodric Braithwaite, the former British ambassador to Moscow, challenges much of what we know about the Soviets in Afghanistan. He provides an inside look at this little-understood episode, using first-hand accounts and piercing analysis to show the war as it
was fought and experienced by the Russians. The invasion was a defensive response to a chaotic situation in the Soviets' immediate neighbor. They intended to establish a stable, friendly government, secure the major towns, and train the police and armed forces before making a rapid exit. But the
mission escalated, as did casualties. Braithwaite does not paint the occupation as a Russian triumph. To the contrary, he illustrates the searing effect of the brutal conflict on soldiers, their families, and the broader public, as returning veterans struggled to regain their footing back home.

Now available in paperback, Braithwaite carries readers through these complex and momentous events, capturing those violent and tragic days as no one has done before.
Life Along the Silk Road
Life Along the Silk Road
Paperback      ISBN: 0520232143

In the first 1,000 years after Christ, merchants, missionaries, monks, mendicants, and military men traveled on the vast network of Central Asian tracks that became known as the Silk Road. Linking Europe, India, and the Far East, the route passed through many countries and many settlements, from the splendid city of Samarkand to tiny desert hamlets. Susan Whitfield creates a rich and varied portrait of life along the greatest trade route in history in a vivid, lively, and learned account that spans the eighth through the tenth centuries. Recounting the lives of ten individuals who lived at different times during this period, Whitfield draws on contemporary sources and uses firsthand accounts whenever possible to reconstruct the history of the route through the personal experiences of these characters.

Life along the Silk Road brings alive the now ruined and sand-covered desert towns and their inhabitants. Readers encounter an Ulghur nomad from the Gobi Desert accompanying a herd of steppe ponies for sale to the Chinese state; Ah-long, widow of a prosperous merchant, now reduced to poverty and forced to resort to law and charity to survive; and the Chinese princess sent as part of a diplomatic deal to marry a Turkish kaghan. In the process we learn about women's lives, modes of communication, weapons, types of cosmetics, methods of treating altitude sickness in the Tibetan army, and ways that merchants cheated their customers. Throughout the narrative, Whitfield conveys a strong sense of what life was like for ordinary men and women on the Silk Road--everyone from itinerant Buddhist monks, to Zoroastrians and Nestorian Christians seeking converts among the desert settlers, to storytellers, musicians, courtesans, diviners, peddlers, and miracle-workers who offered their wares in the marketplaces and at temple fairs. A work of great scholarship, Life along the Silk Road is at the same time extremely accessible and entertaining.
Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Soldiers of God
With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Paperback      ISBN: 1400030250

First time in paperback, with a new Introduction and final chapter

World affairs expert and intrepid travel journalist Robert D. Kaplan braved the dangers of war-ravaged Afghanistan in the 1980s, living among the mujahidin--the "soldiers of god"--whose unwavering devotion to Islam fueled their mission to oust the formidable Soviet invaders. In Soldiers of God we follow Kaplan's extraordinary journey and learn how the thwarted Soviet invasion gave rise to the ruthless Taliban and the defining international conflagration of the twenty-first century.

Kaplan returns a decade later and brings to life a lawless frontier. What he reveals is astonishing: teeming refugee camps on the deeply contentious Pakistan-Afghanistan border; a war front that combines primitive fighters with the most technologically advanced weapons known to man; rigorous Islamic indoctrination academies; a land of minefields plagued by drought, fierce tribalism, insurmountable ethnic and religious divisions, an abysmal literacy rate, and legions of war orphans who seek stability in military brotherhood. Traveling alongside Islamic guerrilla fighters, sharing their food, observing their piety in the face of deprivation, and witnessing their determination, Kaplan offers a unique opportunity to increase our understanding of a people and a country that are at the center of world events.
Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-89
Afgantsy
The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-89
Paperback      ISBN: 0199322481

The story of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan is well known: the expansionist Communists overwhelmed a poor country as a means of reaching a warm-water port on the Persian Gulf. Afghan mujahideen upset their plans, holding on with little more than natural fighting skills, until CIA agents
came to the rescue with American arms. Humiliated in battle, the Soviets hastily retreated. It is a great story-but it never happened.

In this brilliant, myth-busting account, Rodric Braithwaite, the former British ambassador to Moscow, challenges much of what we know about the Soviets in Afghanistan. He provides an inside look at this little-understood episode, using first-hand accounts and piercing analysis to show the war as it
was fought and experienced by the Russians. The invasion was a defensive response to a chaotic situation in the Soviets' immediate neighbor. They intended to establish a stable, friendly government, secure the major towns, and train the police and armed forces before making a rapid exit. But the
mission escalated, as did casualties. Braithwaite does not paint the occupation as a Russian triumph. To the contrary, he illustrates the searing effect of the brutal conflict on soldiers, their families, and the broader public, as returning veterans struggled to regain their footing back home.

Now available in paperback, Braithwaite carries readers through these complex and momentous events, capturing those violent and tragic days as no one has done before.
Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History
Afghanistan
A Cultural and Political History
Paperback      ISBN: 0691154414

An impressive history of Afghanistan (New York Times Book Review), from the Mughal Empire to the Taliban

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.
Afghanistan and Its Neighbors after the NATO Withdrawal
Afghanistan and Its Neighbors after the NATO Withdrawal
Paperback      ISBN: 1498529143

The planned reductions in NATO troop numbers in Afghanistan through 2015 and a final withdrawal at the end of 2016 brings up numerous pressing questions about the security and national interests of not just Afghanistan, but of the broader region itself. The problem of a chaotic Afghanistan-or of an outright Taliban victory-is of great concern to not only immediate neighbors such as Iran, Pakistan, and the former Soviet Central Asian republics to the north, but also to those countries in the region with Afghanistan-related security or economic concerns, such as China and India. Further abroad, Russian, American and European interests and plans for dealing with the fallout from Afghanistan must also be taken into account as these major powers have enduring interests in Afghanistan and the region. This volume puts the prospects for short- and mid-term security dynamics at the core of the analysis, with each case being placed in its proper contemporary historical, economic, and political context. The book will offer a truly comprehensive, nuanced, and timely account of the security situation in and around Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Rising: Islamic Law and Statecraft Between the Ottoman and British Empires
Afghanistan Rising
Islamic Law and Statecraft Between the Ottoman and British Empires
Hardcover      ISBN: 0674971949

Debunking conventional narratives of Afghanistan as a perennial war zone or marginal frontier, Faiz Ahmed presents a vibrant account of the first Muslim-majority country to gain independence from the British Empire, form a fully sovereign government, and promulgate an original constitution after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

Far from a landlocked wilderness, turn-of-the-twentieth-century Afghanistan was a magnet for itinerant scholars and emissaries shuttling between Ottoman and British imperial domains. Tracing Afghans' longstanding but seldom examined scholastic ties to Istanbul, Damascus, and Baghdad, as well as greater Delhi and Lahore, Ahmed vividly describes how the Kabul court recruited jurists to craft a modern state within the interpretive traditions of Islamic law and ethics, or shariʿa, and international legal norms. Beginning with the first Ottoman mission to Kabul in 1877, and culminating with parallel independence struggles in Afghanistan, India, and Turkey after World War I, this rich narrative explores encounters between diverse streams of Muslim thought and politics--from Young Turk lawyers to Pashtun clerics; Ottoman Arab officers to British Raj bureaucrats; and the last caliphs to a remarkable dynasty of Afghan kings and queens.

By unearthing a lost history behind Afghanistan's independence and first constitution, Ahmed shows how debates today on Islam, governance, and the rule of law have deep roots in a beleaguered land. Based on research in six countries and as many languages, Afghanistan Rising rediscovers a time when Kabul stood proudly for anticolonial coalitions, self-determination, and contested visions of reform in the Global South and Islamicate world.
The Afghanistan Wars
The Afghanistan Wars
2nd Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0230213146
William Maley provides an authoritative account of the waves of conflict which, for nearly a quarter of a century, devastated much of the country. This new edition has been updated throughout in the light of the latest research and features a new final chapter which examines post-Taliban Afghanistan, bringing the story up to the present day.
After the Empires: The Creation of Novel Political-Cultural Projects in East Asia
After the Empires
The Creation of Novel Political-Cultural Projects in East Asia
Hardcover      ISBN: 1137345675

The shift to the modern world in East Asia was accomplished in part via the experience of colonial rule in the late nineteenth century. Following imperial crisis in the 1930s and 1940s, independent nation states formed from which the political structure of East Asia is based today.