Books That Will Help You Understand Afghanistan

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The conflict in Afghanistan dominates headlines, but many people seek a deeper understanding of the country and the war the U.S. is fighting there. In the first of a series of suggestions for an Afghanistan "reading list," Washington Post special military correspondent Tom Ricks shares his recommendations. His picks range from a collection of Afghan proverbs, to a history of the CIA's involvement in the country:

Afghanistan, by Louis Dupree (features a great collection of Afghan proverbs)

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, by Steve Coll

Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, by Ahmed Rashid

The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia, by Peter Hopkirk

Bugles and a Tiger: My Life in the Gurkhas, by John Masters

The Head of the District, a short story by Rudyard Kipling



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from