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Click to enlargeThe Return of a King : The Battle for Afghanistan, 1839-42

Price: $30.00
Member Price: $27.00
Author: Dalrymple, William
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, APRIL 2013
Format: HC, 560pp
From the prizewinning historian, a masterly retelling of the first Afghan war, perhaps the West's greatest imperial disaster in the East: an important parable of neocolonial ambition and cultural collision, folly, and hubris.

With access to previously untapped primary sources, William Dalrymple gives us the most immediate and comprehensive account we have had of the spectacular first battle for Afghanistan. We see the British invade the remote kingdom in 1839, reestablishing Shah Shuja on the throne-this time as their puppet-and ushering in a period of conflict still unresolved today. We see the Afghan people rise to the call for jihad against the foreign occupiers in 1841, poorly equipped tribesmen routing an entire army of what was then the most powerful military nation in the world: more than eighteen thousand British troops retreated from Kabul through treacherous mountain passes, and only one man made it through to Jellalabad. Dalrymple illuminates the similarities between what the British faced in Afghanistan nearly two centuries ago, and what NATO faces there today.The Return of a Kingis both the definitive analysis of the first Afghan war and a work of stunning topicality.