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Afghan History through Afghan Eyes
Recent international intervention in Afghanistan has reproduced familiar versions of the Afghan national story from repeatedly doomed invasions to perpetual fault lines of ethnic division. Yet almost no attention has been paid to the ways in which Afghans themselves have made sense of their history.
Radically questioning received ideas about how to understand Afghanistan, Afghan History Through Afghan Eyes asks how Afghan intellectuals, ideologues, and ordinary people have understood their collective past. The book brings together the leading international specialists to focus on case studies of the Dari, Pashto, and Uzbek histories which Afghans have produced in abundance since the formation of the Afghan state in the mid-eighteenth century. As crucial sources on Afghans’ own conceptions of state, society, and culture, their writings help us understand the dominant and marginal, conflicting and changing ways in which Afghans have understood the emergence of their own society and its relationships with the wider world.
Based on new research in Afghan languages, Afghan History Through Afghan Eyes opens up entirely fresh perspectives on Afghan political, social, and cultural life providing penetrating insights into the master narratives behind domestic and international conflict in Afghanistan.
Nile Green is Professor of History at UCLA and founding director of the UCLA Programme on Central Asia. A specialist on the Muslim communities of South Asia and the Middle East, his research brings Islamic history into conversation with global history. He has written seven monographs, including Bombay Islam: The Religious Economy of the West Indian Ocean which won the Albert Hourani prize and the Ananda K. Coomaraswamy prize.