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The relationship between America and Pakistan is based on mutual incomprehension, and always has been. Pakistan - to American eyes - has gone from being a stabilizing friend to an essential military ally to a seedbed of terror. America - to Pakistani eyes - has been a guarantee of security, a coldly distant scold, an enthusiastic military supplier and ally, and now a threat to national security and a source of humiliation.
In their sixty-five year relationship, one country has become a global superpower, the other perilously close to a failed state - perhaps one of the most dangerous places in the world.
Husain Haqqani has a unique insight into Pakistan, hishomeland, and America, where he was the Pakistani ambassador and is now a professor at Boston University. His life has mapped the relationship of Pakistan and America, and he has found himself often close to the heart of it - sometimes in very confrontational circumstances, even under house arrest - which has allowed him to write the story of the two countries' turbulent affair, here memorably laid bare.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By A Reader on 02-20-14
Great book overall.
Although I personally don't like the author but this is a well-researched book and lays out history of delusions from both sides in a very interesting manner, explaining the basis of many conspiracy theories rampant in Pakistan.
It is well-written and well-narrated.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Syed Asad Ali on 11-27-16
Informative but perhaps a bit biased
Pakistan is made the villain in this book. Interpretation is quite biased. Book tells a story of US being naive and constantly being fooled by the Pakistanis. Writer's biases come out given his personal experiences with the Pakistani government and military.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Judy Corstjens on 05-11-16
A pretty miserable tale, well told
If you are interested in the story of Pakistan from independence (1947) to the present day (well, 2013) this book provides a wonderful sweep. For me it was one of those excellent books that packages all the snippets of news from my whole life time and groups and organises them into one comprehensible narrative. I'm not able to judge whether M. Haqqani is biased, but he certainly has been in the thick of Pakistani politics for many years (the book gets noticeably more lively once he moves from history to his first hand experiences), but he seems to be able to take a reasonably objective view of American and Pakistan's desires, beliefs, and errors. It is pretty downbeat, overall, delusions and misunderstanding indeed.
Warning - the book is detailed and sometimes seems repetitive (maybe that is history) so you really do have to be interested in the subject to pay attention through 14 hours.
Narrator was perfectly cast. The voice sounds like an educated foreign-office type with slightly Indian intonations. Fourteen hours of genuine Pakistani accented English would have been too tiring for this UK listener.