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An investigative journalist uncovers a hidden custom in Afghanistan that will transform your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl. In Afghanistan, a culture ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as misfortune. A bacha posh (literally translated from Dari as “dressed up like a boy”) is a third kind of child--a girl temporarily raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. Jenny Nordberg, the reporter who broke the story of this phenomenon for the New York Times, constructs a powerful and moving account of those secretly living on the other side of a deeply segregated society where women have almost no rights and little freedom. The Underground Girls of Kabul is anchored by vivid characters who bring this remarkable story to life: Azita, a female parliamentarian who sees no other choice but to turn her fourth daughter Mehran into a boy; Zahra, the tomboy teenager who struggles with puberty and refuses her parents’ attempts to turn her back into a girl; Shukria, now a married mother of three after living for twenty years as a man; and Nader, who prays with Shahed, the undercover female police officer, as they both remain in male disguise as adults. At the heart of this emotional narrative is a new perspective on the extreme sacrifices of Afghan women and girls against the violent backdrop of America’s longest war. Divided into four parts, the book follows those born as the unwanted sex in Afghanistan, but who live as the socially favored gender through childhood and puberty, only to later be forced into marriage and childbirth. The Underground Girls of Kabul charts their dramatic life cycles, while examining our own history and the parallels to subversive actions of people who live under oppression everywhere.
'Spellbinding ... a magisterial account of the great tragedy of our age ... it is a classic' Evening Standard 'In the finest traditions of American investigative journalism' The Times 'Spectacular ... makes Bourne movies pale in comparison' Financial Times From the Pulitzer Prize winning of the acclaimed Ghost Wars, this is the full story of America's grim involvement in the affairs of Afghanistan from 2001 to 2016. In the wake of the terrible shock of 9/11, the C.I.A. scrambled to work out how to destroy Bin Laden and his associates. The C.I.A. had long familiarity with Afghanistan and had worked closely with the Taliban to defeat the Soviet Union there. A tangle of assumptions, old contacts, favours and animosities were now reactivated. Superficially the invasion was quick and efficient, but Bin Laden's successful escape, together with that of much of the Taliban leadership, and a catastrophic failure to define the limits of NATO's mission in a tough, impoverished country the size of Texas, created a quagmire which lasted many years. At the heart of the problem lay 'Directorate S', a highly secretive arm of the Pakistan state which had its own views on the Taliban and Afghanistan's place in a wider competition for influence between Pakistan, India and China, and which assumed that the U.S.A. and its allies would soon be leaving. Steve Coll's remarkable new book tells a powerful, bitter story of just how badly foreign policy decisions can go wrong and of many lives lost.
Introducing Social Research Methods: Essentials for Getting the Edge is a concise and student-friendly introduction to research methods that uses examples from around the world to illustrate the centrality of social science research in our everyday lives. Explains complex, multi-faceted concepts and methodologies in straightforward prose Designed for students who are new to or skeptical of social science research methods as useful tools for approaching real-world challenges Persuasively argues that social scientific proficiency unlocks an array of personal and professional opportunities beyond the realms of academia A supplementary website features a glossary, test bank, Power Point presentations, a comprehensive list of web resources, a guide to relevant TED lectures and much more
Seattle, Washington Larkin Bennett has always known her place, whether it's surrounded by her loving family in the lush greenery of the Pacific Northwest or conducting a dusty patrol in Afghanistan. But all of that changed the day tragedy struck her unit and took away everything she held dear. Soon after, Larkin discovers an unexpected treasure—the diary of Emily Wilson, a young woman who disguised herself as a man to fight for the Union in the Civil War. As Larkin struggles to heal, she finds herself drawn deeply into Emily's life and the secrets she kept. Indiana, 1861 The only thing more dangerous to Emily Wilson than a rebel soldier is the risk of her own comrades in the Union Army discovering her secret. But in the minds of her fellow soldiers, if it dresses like a man, swears like a man, and shoots like a man, it must be a man. As the war marches on and takes its terrible toll, Emily begins to question everything she thought she was fighting for.
This book offers an overview of the formation of the Afghan state and of the politics, economic challenges and international relations of contemporary Afghanistan. It opens with an account of some of the key features that make Afghanistan unique and proceeds to discuss how the Afghan state acquired a distinctive character as a rentier state. In addition, the authors outline a complex range of domestic and external factors that led to the breakdown of the state, and how that breakdown gave rise to a set of challenges with which Afghan political and social actors have been struggling to deal since the 2001 international intervention that overthrew the anti-modernist Taliban regime. It then presents the different types of politics that Afghanistan has witnessed over the last two decades; examines some of the most important features of the Afghan economy; and demonstrates how Afghanistan’s geopolitical location and international relations more broadly have complicated the task of promoting stability in the post-2001 period. It concludes with some reflections on the factors that are likely to shape Afghanistan’s future trajectory and notes that if there are hopes for a better future, they largely rest on the shoulders of a globalised generation of younger Afghans. This book will be of interest to students and scholars in the fields of Middle East and Central Asian studies, international relations, politics, development studies and history.

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