Cover image for Afghanistan : a history from 1260 to the present / Jonathan L. Lee.
Title:
Afghanistan : a history from 1260 to the present / Jonathan L. Lee.
ISBN:
9781789140101
Publication Information:
London : Reaktion Books, 2018.
Physical Description:
780 pages : illustrations, maps, portraits, genealogical tables ; 24 cm
Contents:
Afghan sultanates, 1260-1732 -- Nadir Shah and the Afghans, 1732-47 -- Ahmad Shah and the Durrani Empire, 1747-72 -- Fragmentation: Timur Shah and his successors, 1772-1824 -- Afghanistan and the Indus frontier, 1824-39 -- The death of the 'Great Experiment', 1839-43 -- The pursuit of 'scientific frontiers', 1843-79 -- 'Reducing the disorderly people', 1879-1901 -- Reform and repression, 1901-19 -- Dreams melted into air, 1919-29 -- Backs to the future, 1929-33 -- A house divided, 1933-73 -- Republicanism, revolution and resistance, 1973-94 -- 'Between the dragon and his wrath', 1994-2017 -- Conclusion.
Abstract:
"Located at the intersection of Asia and the Middle East, Afghanistan has been strategically important for thousands of years. Its ancient trade routes and strategic position between India, Inner Asia, China, Persia and beyond has meant the region has been subject to frequent invasions. Modern Afghanistan is a culturally and ethnically diverse country, but one divided by conflict, political instability and by mass displacements of its people. Jonathan L. Lee places the current conflict in Afghanistan in its historical context and challenges many of the West's preconceived ideas about the country. Lee chronicles the region's monarchic rules and the Durrani dynasty, focusing on the reigns of each ruler and their efforts to balance tribal, ethnic, regional and religious factions, moving on to the struggle for social and constitutional reform and the rise of Islamic and Communist factions. He offers new cultural and political insights from Persian histories, the memoirs of Afghan government officials, British government and India Office archives, recently released CIA reports and WikiLeaks documents. Lee also sheds new light on the country's foreign relations, its internal power struggles and the impact of foreign military interventions such as the 'War on Terror'." -- Publisher's description
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Summary

Summary

Located at the intersection of Asia and the Middle East, Afghanistan has been strategically important for thousands of years. Its ancient routes and strategic position between India, Inner Asia, China, Persia, and beyond has meant the region has been subject to frequent invasions, both peaceful and military. As a result, modern Afghanistan is a culturally and ethnically diverse country, but one divided by conflict, political instability, and by mass displacements of its people. In this magisterial illustrated history, Jonathan L. Lee tells the story of how a small tribal confederacy in a politically and culturally significant but volatile region became a modern nation state.

Drawing on more than forty years of study, Lee places the current conflict in Afghanistan in its historical context and challenges many of the West's preconceived ideas about the country. Focusing particularly on the powerful Durrani monarchy, which united the country in 1747 and ruled for nearly two and a half centuries, Lee chronicles the origins of the dynasty as clients of Safavid Persia and Mughal India: the reign of each ruler and their efforts to balance tribal, ethnic, regional, and religious factions; the struggle for social and constitutional reform; and the rise of Islamic and Communist factions. Along the way he offers new cultural and political insights from Persian histories, the memoirs of Afghan government officials, British government and India Office archives, and recently released CIA reports and Wikileaks documents. He also sheds new light on the country's foreign relations, its internal power struggles, and the impact of foreign military interventions such as the "War on Terror."


Author Notes

Jonathan L. Lee is a social and cultural historian and a leading authority on the history of Afghanistan. He has lived for many years in Afghanistan and is a fellow of both the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and the British Institute of Persian Studies. His previous books include The Journals of Edward Stirling in Persia and Afghanistan, 1828-29 ; The "Ancient Supremacy": Bukhara, Afghanistan, and the Battle for Balkh, 1732-1901 ; and Amazing Wonders of Afghanistan .


Table of Contents

List of Chartsp. 7
List of Tablesp. 8
List of Mapsp. 9
Transliterationsp. 10
Introductionp. 23
1 Afghan Sultanates, 1260-1732p. 51
2 Nadir Shah and the Afghans, 1732-47p. 88
3 Ahmad Shah and the Durrani Empire, 1747-72p. 116
4 Fragmentation: Timur Shah and his Successors, 1772-1824p. 143
5 Afghanistan and the Indus Frontier, 1824-39p. 187
6 The Death of the 'Great Experiment', 1839-43p. 244
7 The Pursuit of 'Scientific Frontiers', 1843-79p. 307
8 'Reducing the Disorderly People', 1879-1901p. 364
9 Reform and Repression, 1901-19p. 412
10 Dreams Melted into Air, 1919-29p. 450
11 Backs to the Future, 1929-33p. 502
12 A House Divided, 1933-73p. 530
13 Republicanism, Revolution and Resistance, 1973-94p. 581
14 'Between the Dragon and his Wrath', 1994-2017p. 629
Conclusionp. 684
Genealogical Chartsp. 698
Glossaryp. 703
A Note on Sourcesp. 712
Referencesp. 714
Select Bibliographyp. 746
Acknowledgementsp. 753
Photo Acknowledgementsp. 754
Indexp. 755