“The one-volume introduction to Afghanistan that I always recommend to people is Thomas Barfield’s Afghanistan…Tom Barfield is a scholar whom a whole lot of other scholars, military officers and diplomats have a lot of time for…The things I would stress about this book are firstly that it’s accessible. Secondly, that it’s really quite funny – he’s a witty writer. Thirdly, that it’s become – for better or worse (mostly for better I would argue) – a reference point for anyone working on Afghanistan. I’ve seen this book on the shelves of everyone from serious scholars to squad leaders to General David Petraeus.” Read more...
Andrew Exum recommends the best books for Understanding the War in Afghanistan