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Afghanistan Revealed (Hardback)

Beyond the Headlines

All Frontline Books Afghanistan Colour Books

By Caroline Richards, Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales
Frontline Books
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781848327542
Published: 9th December 2013

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Afghanistan conjures up many images in our minds; images of war amidst a landscape of dust, desert and mountains. But what do we really know about this enigmatic country and its people: a people who are proud, hospitable yet fiercely protective of their heritage; a people who have recently endured over 30 years of conflict. This book takes us beyond the media focus on politics and war into the lives of the Afghan people, and explores the forces that have shaped their individual and collective history.

Afghanistan Revealed examines Afghanistan through the eyes of distinguished writers and specialists in their field who challenge our commonly held perceptions. Only through a greater knowledge of this extraordinary country can we hope to understand why peace and stability have been so elusive; and fully appreciate the challenges faced by the Afghan people following the 2014 withdrawal of NATO-led combat troops from the country. With due humility we can better help the Afghan people find the peace and prosperity that they deserve and aspire to.

The following authors and photographers have generously contributed their work: (Authors) Ahmed Rashid; Anthony Arnott; Dr Whitney Azoy; Yossef Bodansky; John Dowdy; Andrew Erdmann; Dr Magsie Hamilton Little; Dr Robert Johnson; Dr Humayun Khan; Clare Lockhart; David Loyn; Dr Greg Mills; Bijan Omrani; Helen Saberi; Victoria Schofield and Jules Stewart. (Photographers) Tim Hetherington; Jeremy Kelly; Giannis Koskinas; Laura Lean; Andrea Niada; Jonathan Saruk; Susan Schulman; Jerome Starkey; Alex Treadway and Bill Woodburn.

This is an elegantly and very clearly written series of essays on how Afghanistan has reached its present turmoil and how it may evolve in the next few decades. The writers are diplomats, academics and politicians from both the East and the West.
I know of no work more comprehensive and convincing than this one.

David B Redston

The thoughts [the writer] seek to impart are to be the antidote to gloom and doom and never, ever breaking the downward spiral that is the eye for an eye school of thought.

Speed Readers

With a foreword by HRH the Prince of Wales, this book, produced by Caroline, the wife of General Sir David Richards (lately CDS), is a compilation of works by seventeen distinguished authors who provide authoritative insights into Afghanistan.

[However] this book is much more than a collection of chapters by experts. It is rather an attempt by informed authors, with a respect and affection for this troubled nation, to reveal the character of 'Afghanistan behind the headlines' and intentionally to give direct support through the Afghan Appeal Fund to the peoples' desire for education, peace and prosperity. It should be required reading by decision makers and military historians alike.

Pennant Magazine

A first-class primer for anyone involved with Afghanistan at whatever level.

Anthony Wynn

Afghanistan Revealed offers fresh perspectives on an ancient territory obscured by tales of tragic conflict. The compendium not only sheds new light, but also offers fresh hope. It is essential reading.

Tim Butcher, best-selling author of Blood River

... a rich collection of essays by a range of experts [which] surveys Afghanistan's intricate history, regional ties, natural beauty, arts and architecture, its delicacies and sports.

The Times

This is a sober antidote to the picture of gloom and doom in which Afghanistan is so often portrayed. The descriptions of its history, culture, tribes, languages, and economy contribute to an understanding of the country – and its enormous potential – which Afghanistan and its people desperately need.

Richard Norton-Taylor, Defence Editor, The Guardian

Afghanistan Revealed is an illuminating collection of essays which go right to the heart of the issues that have afflicted this wonderful country for decades. The book is essential reading for anyone who seeks to acquire a more profound understanding of the complex web of challenges which have confronted – and often confounded – the world’s leading politicians, soldiers and policy-makers for a decade or more.

Con Coughlin, Defence Editor, Daily Telegraph

About Caroline Richards

Caroline Richards is the wife of General Sir David Richards GCB CBE DSO who commanded the UN mandated International Security and Assistance Forces in Afghanistan 2006/7. Realising that she knew nothing about the country, its people and the reasons why her husband was deploying to Afghanistan, she set out to explore these questions. Unable to visit the country she viewed the situation through the eyes of the people she met – attempting to see beyond the headlines.


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