Monday, April 1, 2013

Top ten books on Afghanistan

William Dalrymple's books include several works of history and travel, including City of Djinns, which won the Young British Writer of the Year Prize and the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award; the best-selling From the Holy Mountain; White Mughals, which won Britain’s most prestigious history prize, the Wolfson; and The Last Mughal, which won the Duff Cooper Prize for History and Biography. His new book is Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, 1839-42.

One of Dalrymple's top ten books on Afghanistan, as told to the Guardian:
The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright

Wright's acclaimed book contains by far the most rounded biographical portrait of the central figures of al-Qaida, and how they took root in Afghanistan. It is also a beautifully written and wonderfully compelling narrative. Wright is especially revealing about Bin Laden's own personality: his naivety, egalitarianism and surprising austerity — a rare example of a Saudi billionaire prepared to move to the rigours of Afghanistan and undertake hard manual labour and to live in comfortless, rigorous poverty. Still the best of the many books on 9/11.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Looming Tower also made Marjorie Kehe's list of eight worthy 9/11 books and the Christian Science Monitor's list of seven books about Osama bin Laden.

Also see: Five top books on foreigners in Afghanistan; Five books on Afghanistan; and Five best books about Afghanistan.

--Marshal Zeringue