• by Stephen Tanner
  • Narrated by Raymond Todd
  • 14 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For more than 2,500 years, the forbidding territory of Afghanistan has served as a vital crossroads not only for armies but also for clashes between civilizations. As a result of the United States' engaging in armed conflict with the Afghan regime, an understanding of the military history of that blood-soaked land has become essential to every American. Afghanistan's military history provides lessons for us today. The earliest written records inform us of fierce mountain tribes on the eastern edge of the cradle of civilization. Alexander the Great conquered Afghanistan on his way from Persia to India. Later, because of its strategic location (the Silk Road passed through its mountainous northern region) Afghanistan was invaded in succession by Arabs, Mongols, and Tartars. In the nineteenth century, Great Britain tried, and failed, to add Afghanistan to its Indian empire, while Russia tried to expand into the same embattled land. Afghanistan once again fought, and defeated, a secular government in the face of rising Islamic resistance.
America has faced a new enemy on this land, a land that for centuries has become a graveyard of empires past.


What the Critics Say

"This is a noteworthy and valuable book: accessible, objective, informative, and informed." (


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Afghanistan: A Military History

I chose this book after listening to "The Kite Runners". While this audio book contained a great deal of information, and was generally well-written, I wished I had had access to a decent map of the region while listening. I also was annoyed by the narrator who mispronounced a number of words and foreign place names and has a tendency to use a fake foreign accent when quoting from some sources (e.g. Russian or British). Nonetheless, these are minor quibbles about the book itself, which focuses on the history of military invasions of Afghanistan and of the civil war during the last two decades of the 20th century. I can't help feeling that the lessons learned about fighting insurgents by the Soviet invaders from 1980 onward are today being re-learned by American soldiers in Iraq. Overall this was a decent book.
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- Alana R Black

A Great Overview

I listened to this just before I deployed to Afghanistan and was amazed at just how much of what was in the book is still relevant today. A great piece to put the conflict and hopes of Afghanistan today into perspective of the regions long history.
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- Colin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-22-2004
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.