Published: November 2018
Located at the intersection of Asia and the Middle East, Afghanistan has been strategically important for thousands of years. Its ancient trade routes and strategic position between India, Inner Asia, China, Persia and beyond has meant the region has been subject to frequent invasions, both peaceful and military. As a result, modern Afghanistan is a culturally and ethnically diverse country, but one divided by conflict, political instability and by mass displacements of its people. Afghanistan: A History from 1260 to the Present Day tells the story of how a small tribal confederacy became a modern nation state.Jonathan L. Lee places the current conflict in Afghanistan in its historical context and challenges many of the West's preconceived ideas about the country. Lee chronicles the origins of the region's monarchic rules and the Durrani dynasty, while focusing on the reigns of each ruler, their efforts to balance tribal, ethnic, regional and religious factions, the struggle for social and constitutional reform and the rise of Islamic and Communist factions. He offers new cultural and political insights from Persian histories, the memoirs of Afghan government officials, British government and India Office archives, recently released CIA reports and Wikileaks documents. Lee also sheds new light on the country's foreign relations, its internal power struggles and the impact of foreign military interventions such as the `War on Terror'.