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About the Author

Rodric Braithwaite was British ambassador in Moscow from 1988 to 1992, and is now chairman of the International Advisory Council of the Moscow School of Political Studies. He is the author of Moscow 1941 and Across the Moscow River.


Among the many strengths of Braithwaite's book, four features stand out...[T]here are richly drawn depictions of carefully selected subjects...The second feature, a product of the first, is Braithwaite's masterful focus on key developments, influences, and processes. A combination of interviews, primary materials, and direct insight reveals complexity and nuance...A third remarkable feature of Afgantsy is Braithwaite's portrayal of the human cost of intervention...[H]e conveys a sense of the participants' full range of experiences and emotions...A fourth notable feature of Braithwaite's book is his attention to legacy, both in the Soviet Union/Russia and in Afghanistan.--The Russian Review
Set to be the definitive account of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, overturning several myths along the way.--The Sunday Times
A minor masterpiece.--The Observer
The author...may well have written the definitive account of this war.--The Irish Examiner
A masterful new book...that explains the tangled events leading up to the Soviet invasion and provides fresh insights into the war that followed...With America beginning its own slow retreat from Afghanistan, this is an important book.--Newsweek

The most nuanced, sympathetic, and comprehensive account yet of the Soviet experience in Afghanistan...[T]his book finally dispels many of the Cold War myths.--Rory Stewart, author of The Places In Between

[Braithwaite] is one of the most vivid, emotionally engaged diplomats to have turned to the pen.--Financial Times

An outstanding book...[T]hese accounts provide a fascinating insight not only into the war but also into Soviet society.--Times Higher Education

Sir Rodric Braithwaite...has amassed a gold mine of sources for this timely study.--Sunday Telegraph

Afgantsy tells the sad story of occupying troops and Afghan civilians during the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan...His multifaceted history is a valuable addition to our knowledge of all these subjects. While American readers will naturally want to discern here lessons regarding military operations in Afghanistan, history never exactly repeats itself--there are differences as well as similarities--and Braithwaite wisely counsels caution in applying the lessons of the past.--Michigan War Studies Review

Rodric Braithwaite brings the talents of a scholar, diplomat, and writer to the agony of the Soviet misadventure in Afghanistan...His narrative is understated but powerful, resting on a wide range of Russian sources, including interviews with veterans and many documents.--Foreign Policy

Compassionate yet critical, this is the most comprehensive portrait of the morass Soviet leaders got themselves and their army into when they invaded Afghanistan in December 1979...His book is a big, vibrant canvas painted with skill and humanity.--Foreign Affairs

Afgantsy, by the former British ambassador to Moscow Sir Rodric Braithwaite, is by far the best account in English of the Soviet experience there, and brings out very well how, in their fight against the Afghan Mujahideen, the Soviets wrestled with many of the same intractable Afghan realities that have bedeviled our efforts.--New York Review of Books
Braithwaite's book is a fascinating story, not only of politics and war, but about the individuals who served in Afghanistan.--Jerusalem Post
Informative and well written, Sir Rodric Braithwaite's Afgantsy is an invaluable book--to Russians but even more so to Americans, who are repeating most of the same mistakes in Afghanistan.--Dr. Sergei Khrushchev

A Foreign Policy Favorite Reads of 2011 selection
Named British Army Military Book of the Year in 2012

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