Ahmed Rashid is a correspondent for the Daily Telegraph reporting on Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia. He also broadcasts regularly with the BBC, CNN and other international news organisations. He has twice been selected for the list of 'Top 100 Global Thinkers' by Foreign Policy.
Afghanistan's position as a crossroads in Central Asia made it part of the 19th-century Great Game of imperialism and brings it to international strategic prominence once again. Rashid is a correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review who has covered Afghanistan's changing fortunes since the 1978 Soviet invasion. In his second book, he covers the origin and rise of the Taliban, its concepts of Islam on questions of gender roles and drugs, and the importance of the country to the development of energy resources in the region. His account of the Taliban's origins among the Pashtun refugees in Pakistani camps and their minimal education in Koranic schools from poorly educated teachers explains their lack of knowledge of the history and culture of their own country and of what it means to govern. The failed state that is now Afghanistan threatens to destabilize its neighbors by exporting both drugs and extremist views. Unlike Peter Marsden's Taliban: War Religion and the New Order in Afghanistan (Oxford Univ., 1998), this new work emphasizes the international implications of the Taliban and its government. A lucid and thoroughly researched account, it is recommended for academic and most public libraries.--Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
'[An] excellent study which... has now sold more than 750,000 copies in  languages.' - Financial Times; 'It took our political classes an unconscionable time to wake up to the importance of Ahmed Rashid's definitive study of the Taliban. The book has been a phenomenal success.' - The Independent; 'Read this remarkable book and the bewildering complexity of Afghan politics and the deadly over-spill of chaos, narcotics and sectarian violence into the surrounding region will become clear.' - Sunday Times; 'Ahmed Rashid's book describes the stuff that Bond [films] are made of. Warring tribes, clashing empires, fanatics with dreams of world domination, violence and sex... If anyone understands the place Rashid does.' - The Observer; 'The book they are all reading.' - The Guardian