The author was a reporter for National Public Radio and went in with the U. She documents clearly that the Taliban was a creation of Pakistani and American policy. She decided then to quit her reporting job, learn Pashto, and help the Afghan people rebuild their homes and start cooperatives. I have to admire Sarah Chayes' honesty: when she realizes she's made a mistake or she has been too naive or trusting, she lets you see exactly how. Since Kandahar was the home of the Taliban who were just ousted before she arrived as a reporter, the city was still dangerous. She comes to believe that Pakistan is the root cause of political instability in Afghanistan and that through its support of warlords it uses resurgent Taliban forces to manipulate and regain control of large parts of the country.
This is what makes the book beyond ordinary. Now we have a hug military presence in Kandahar, but I'm not sure we have any better idea what we're doing than we did in 2002. She is scholarly in creating a narrative that describes the geo-political realities affecting the region, and intensely personal as she describes her own experiences resulting from those realities. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include previous owner inscriptions. This book is a very mixed bag. And yet this same Urozgan was where many of the Taliban had come from. She detailed the frustrations in communicating with Afghanis who avoid commiting their word to people or action.
I doubt if I could ever aspire to her heights. This country sees dozens of people die every week. She offers us a history of his career, pointing out the influences that impacted his ability to function in this or that place and job. Most alarming was the disappointment she felt with Karzai, the prime minister who seemed to have the charisma, intelligence and courage to lead the nation in a new direction. But the odds are against them.
Sarah Chayes was a reporter who spent some time in the country while the war was going on and after the war when the government was being established. But her experience was an eye-opening one and I'm very glad I read it. She has currently settled in southern Afghanistan and has created a work co op creating wonderful soaps. Although it was published several years ago I think it's completely relevant to our current involvement in Afghanistan. Amazing that a woman journalist should be able to gain the trust and regard of powerful men in this staunchly conservative country. Their services tend to reduce polarization and extremism, which is detrimental to the goals of militants.
Since leaving full-time radio reporting, she has been a frequent contributor to the print media, contributing to , the , , and the , among other outlets. Yet somehow, she still seems confident in her own judgment. The author lived mostly in Afghanistan during the early years of this century and witnessed the rise and fall of the Taliban. So her book is completely relevant. I am both sorry and glad it is over. I wish I'd read the readers' reviews before getting the audible version. Sarah Chayes certainly knows Afghanistan like no one else - she has lived I have finally! More than that, her judgment and willingness to adopt the Afghan way of life allowed her to work as intermediary between the Afghani people and the U.
This is an eyeopening chronicle that highlights the often infuriating realities of a vital front in the war on terror, exposing deeper, fundamental problems with current U. Muhammad Akrem Khakrezwal was a police chief and ultimately a friend to Chayes, a bright, basically good guy who tried to do the right thing in the wrong place. It took as lot longer than I thought it would to finish it. Sarah Chayes was a reporter who spent some time in the country while the war was going on and after the war when the government was being established. Somehow, she never reaches waht seems to be the obvious conclusion. Sarah Chayes offers an incisive, on-the-ground look at the reality of the conflict in Afghanistan.
We try to post the same day as the order. I found myself noting some words that I needed to look up. She forged unparalleled relationships with the Karzai family, tribal leaders, U. Uniform tanning of the text block edges and pages. Although it was published several years ago I think it's completely relevant to our current involvement in Afghanistan. I can't think of a single negative to say about it.
The roughest part of the book is when she diverges into the historical import and background of Khandahar. You will learn a lot and find answers to questions you never thought to pose. As a National Public Radio reporter covering the last stand of the Taliban in Afghanistan's southern borderland, Sarah Chayes became deeply immersed in the attempt to rebuild a broken nation. Her command of vocabulary is impressive- just sometimes a little disruptive. I wanted to throw my arms around the kid. There are times in this book that it seems written for radio, rather than print.
Her journalistic prowess shines as she makes some necessary history lessons flow. The spine may show signs of wear. Nor is Ahmed Rashid or Steve Coll right in their reviews. The Punishment of Virtue is a clear must-read for anyone with an interest in goings on in that part of the world. Eye-opening indeed, yet not terribly surprising. Thieves of State argues that corruption is not just a nuisance; it is a major source of geopolitical turmoil.