The South Asia Channel

The Shelf

The Shelf is a collection of the reviews of books relevant to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and the region that have been commissioned by the South Asia channel.

  • The Taliban Revival, June 11, 2014 - Malik Siraj Akbar takes readers through Hasan Abbas'The Taliban Revival: Violence and Extremism on the Pakistan-Afghanistan Frontier(New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014) to explain how the future of the Taliban will affect Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • The Pashtun Question, June 10, 2014 - Daud Khattak reviewsThe Pashtun Question: An Unresolved Key to the Future of Pakistan and Afghnistan, byAbubaker Siddique (London: C. Hurst and Co., 2014).
  • The Pashtuns and the Taliban, June 9, 2014 - Both the histories and the futures of the Pashtun people and the Taliban are intertwined, as Douglas Ollivant discovers in reading Abubaker Siddique'sThe Pashtun Question: The Unresolved Key to the Future of Afghanistan and Pakistan(London: C. Hurst and Co., 2014) and Hasan Abbas'The Taliban Revival: Violence and Extremism on the Pakistan-Afghanistan Frontier(New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014).
  • A Hedgehog and a Fox Explain Afghanistan, April 14, 2014 - Douglas Ollivant reviews Carlotta Gall's book,TheWrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014), andNo Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes(New York: Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Anand Gopal.
  • The Odyssey of Jim Gant: An Insurgent within the U.S. Military, April 9, 2014 - Daniel R. Green dives into Ann Scott Tyson's book,American Spartan: The Promise, The Mission, and The Betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant(New York: William Morrow, 2013).
  • The Days of Saffron and Roses, March 24, 2014 - Douglas Ollivant ties Graeme Smith's book, The Dogs are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan(Toronto: Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2013) to the photography of Robert Nickelsberg as showcased in his book, Afghanistan: A Distant War(Munich: Prestel Verlag, 2013) to explain how the United States has found itself in the current situation in Afghanistan.
  • I Am Malala, February 21, 2014 - Daud Khattak looks at how Malala Yousafzai's book,I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban(New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2013), has been received by Pakistan.
  • Gates: What He Really Thought About the Afghan War, February 6, 2014 - Douglas Ollivant sorts through Robert M. Gates' book,Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014)to lay out the former secretary's doubts and concerns about the war.
  • Why India and Pakistan Hate Each Other, February 4, 2014 - Shamila N. Chaudhary uses two books: Stephen Cohen'sShooting for a Century: The India-Pakistan Conundrum(Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2013) and Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy'sThe Siege: 68 Hours Inside the Taj Hotel(New York: Penguin, 2013) to frame the intense rivalry between the two nations.
  • War From the Ground Up, January 16, 2014 - Douglas Ollivant looks at Emile Simpson's book,War From the Ground Up: Twenty-First-Century Combat as Politics(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).
  • The Most Magnificent Delusion, December 23, 2013 - Michael Kugelman reviews Husain Haqqani's book,Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding(New York: Public Affairs, 2013).
  • The Blood Telegram, December 17, 2013 - Meena Ahamed looks at Nixon's foreign policy toward South Asia as highlighted inThe Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2013), written by Gary J. Bass.
  • A War for No Purpose, April 23, 2013 - In The Battle for Afghanistan, 1839-42, Gerald Russell sees the history of the first war fought by Westerners in Afghanistan in modern times and is clearly designed to cast a light on the present conflict here.
  • Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan, July 18, 2012 - Gerard Russell calls the book a "well-researched, clearly-written expose of the debates, disputes and political skullduggery between those involved in the Afghanistan "surge" in 2009."
  • Cables from Kabul, August 8, 2011 - To Gerard Russell, this book was the equivalent of a guided tour around the international community in Afghanistan.
  • Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History, June 29, 2010- Gerard Russell deems the book a "comprehensive but readable short history of Afghanistan."

Amanda Gaines / New America Foundation