Friday, December 27, 2013

Ten attention-worthy books about the rest of the world

At The Daily Beast Kapil Komireddi tagged ten books about the rest of the world that deserve your attention, including:
Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding, by Husain Haqqani

Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington between 2008 and 2011, has written the most clear-eyed history of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship yet published. From the day of its founding, Pakistan’s leaders saw America as a credulous superpower whose anxieties about communism could be exploited to Pakistan’s advantage. Pakistan volunteered itself as any ally in Washington’s fight against the Soviet Union, extracted aid and ammunition, and then used the generous benefactions to wage war against India. This pattern, established sixty years ago, remains unchanged. America can do nothing to mend its relationship with Pakistan because it cannot grant Islamabad what it seeks: the territorial disintegration of, and incontestable supremacy over, India. The Taliban, created by Pakistan to choke India in Afghanistan, could overrun Punjab tomorrow and Pakistan’s rulers would still be carping about India. It’s an obsession that is simultaneously the source of Pakistan’s survival and the cause of its degeneration. To be Pakistan’s friend is to be singed—first by impossible demands, and then by the charge of treachery for failing to meet those demands. Not only should Haqqani’s book be read by everyone with an interest in Pakistan; it ought be compulsory reading for members of Congress and officials at the State Department.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue