No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes

Anand Gopal. Metropolitan, $27 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9179-3
A haunting ethnography of Afghanistan after the American invasion, journalist Gopal's nonfiction debut tells the stories of three individuals to create a picture of the situation in Afghanistan. Gopal spent hundreds of hours interviewing a Taliban commander, a member of the U.S.-backed Afghan government, and a village housewife. He presents a stirring critique of American forces who commanded overwhelming firepower, but lacked the situational knowledge to achieve their objectives. Men with the ear of American commanders often took advantage of their credulity to destroy their enemies, making little effort to determine their affiliations. Gopal writes of one hapless bus driver, who spent nearly five years in Guantanamo and was prohibited from presenting evidence that he was not a member of the Taliban, because there was "no accusation against [him]" that suggested this affiliation. Heela, the housewife, has the most remarkable story of the three: in closing pages of the book she becomes a senator, unaware until winning that she was even in the running. Gopal reveals the fragility of the tenuous connection between intention and destiny in a war-torn land. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/21/2014
Release date: 04/29/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 1 pages - 978-1-62231-666-3
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4299-4502-8
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-250-06926-9
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