Recommended Reading on Afghanistan From Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya.

Author of The Watch shares his personal book list.


Recommended Reading on Afghanistan History
from Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya

Ahmad, Aisha, and Roger Boase, Pashtun Tales from the Pakistan-Afghan Frontier (Saqi, 2008).

Barfield, Thomas, Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History (Princeton, 2010).

Brodsky, Anna, With All Our Strength: The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (Routledge, 2003).

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Chaffetz, David, A Journey Through Afghanistan: A Memorial (Regnery Gateway, 1981).

Elliot, Jason, An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan (Picador USA, 1999).

Girardet, Edward, Killing the Cranes: A Reporter’s Journey Through Three Decades of War in Afghanistan (Chelsea Green, 2011).

Kargar, Zarghuna, Dear Zari: Hidden Stories from the Women of Afghanistan (Chatto & Windus, 2011).

Lamb, Christina, Sewing Circles of Heart (HarperCollins, 2002).

Loewen, Arley, and Josette McMichael, Eds., Images of Afghanistan: Exploring Afghanistan Through Art and Culture (Oxford, 2010).

Majrouh, Sayd Bahodine, Songs of Love and War: Afghan Women’s Poetry (Other Press, 2003).

Newby, Eric, A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush (Secker & War- burg, 1958).

Omrani, Bijan, and Matthew Leeming, Afghanistan: A Companion and Guide, 2nd ed. (Airphoto International, 2011).

On the Soviet Occupation:

Braithewaite, Rodric, Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-89 (Oxford, 2011).

Kalinovsky, Artemy, A Long Goodbye: The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan (Harvard, 2011).

On the American Occupation:

Amnesty International, As If Hell Fell on Me: The Human Rights Crisis in Northwest Pakistan (Amnesty Interna- tional Publications, 2010).

Anderson, Ben, No Worse Enemy: The Inside Story of the Chaotic Struggle for Afghanistan (Oneworld, 2011).

Badkhen, Anna, Afghanistan by Donkey: One Year in a War Zone (Foreign Policy, 2012).

Bird, Tim, and Alex Marshall, Afghanistan: How the West Lost Its Way (Yale, 2011).

Chayes, Sarah, The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban (Penguin, 2006).

Johnson, Robert, The Afghan Way of War: How and Why They Fight (Oxford, 2012).

Luttrell, Marcus, Lone Survivor (Little, Brown, 2007).

Parnell, Sean, Outlaw Platoon (William Morrow, 2012).

Rashid, Ahmed, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, 2nd ed. (Yale, 2010).

Tupper, Benjamin, Greetings from Afghanistan, Send More Ammo (New American Library Caliber, 2010).

Featured Image by Michal Knitl/

JOYDEEP ROY-BHATTACHARYA was educated in politics and philosophy at Presidency College, Calcutta, and the University of Pennsylvania. His novels The Gabriel Cluband The Storyteller of Marrakesh have been published in fourteen languages. He lives in the Hudson Valley in upstate New York. Visit the author online at

About Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.

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