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CENTRAL & EAST ASIA

Afghanistan

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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We feature a handpicked selection of travel guides, maps, literature, books on art, nature and culture, all designed to help you get more out of your travels to Afghanistan. Order an essential package, and we'll ship any additional items for free.

Essential Reading

Item EXCAS95. Buy these 5 items as a set for $171 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
With free shipping on anything else you order.

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The Afghans, Peoples of Asia

The Afghans, Peoples of Asia

by Willem Vogelsang

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2001
  • HARD COVER
  • 384 PAGES

A wide-ranging history of the people and culture of Afghanistan. (CAS70, $115.95)

The Great Game

The Great Game

by Peter Hopkirk

  • HISTORY
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 565 PAGES
  • FAVORITE
  • HARD TO FIND ELSEWHERE

Hopkirk's spellbinding account of the great struggle for European supremacy in Central Asia takes us over the high mountain passes and through the scorching deserts and caravan towns of the Silk Road, capturing the glamour, intrigue, treachery and adventure of the time. (CAS09, $18.00)

Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia

Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia

by Ahmed Rashid

  • HISTORY
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 319 PAGES

This revised edition of Rashid's prescient account of the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia in the 1990s includes a new chapter covering the period from 2000-2009. (CAS49, $22.00)

Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics and the Rise of the Taliban

Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics and the Rise of the Taliban

by Larry Goodson

  • HISTORY
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 264 PAGES

A scholarly analysis of Afghanistan's devastating recent history. (CAS73, $25.00)

Afghanistan Map

Afghanistan Map

by Nelles

  • 2009
  • MAP

A map of the Afghanistan at a scale of 1:1.5 million with good topographic relief. (CAS71, $11.95)

 
The Ancient Silk Road Map

The Ancient Silk Road Map


by Odyssey Maps

  • 2011
  • MAP

Three large annotated color maps, which include dozens of photographs, expert commentary and illustrated Silk Road sites. (ASA58, $15.00)

Afghanistan, A Companion and Guide

Afghanistan, A Companion and Guide


by Bijan Omrani

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 786 PAGES

Elizabeth Chatwin provides introduction to the second edition of this visually stunning, insightful overview of the history and culture of Afghanistan, noteworthy for its wit, depth and excerpts from the literature of exploration. (CAS116, $24.95)

Culture Smart! Afghanistan

Culture Smart! Afghanistan


by Moska Najib | Nazes Afroz

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 168 PAGES

A concise and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture. (CAS226, $9.95)

Dari, A Language Map

Dari, A Language Map


by Kristine K. Kershul

  • LANGUAGE & PHRASEBOOKS
  • 2010
  • PLASTIC CARD

This durable, foldout card gives easy phonetic pronunciation for several hundred of the most commonly-needed words and phrases. (CAS186, $8.95)

Lonely Planet Central Asia Phrasebook

Lonely Planet Central Asia Phrasebook


by Justin Jon Rudelson

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 239 PAGES

A handy pocket phrasebook that focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler on the Silk Road. (CAS38, $8.99)

Genghis Khan, His Life and Legacy

Genghis Khan, His Life and Legacy


by Paul Ratchnevsky | Thomas Nivison Haining

  • HISTORY
  • 1993
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES

This scholarly biography of the 12th-century conqueror, ably translated from the German, offers great insight into life on the steppes of Central Asia and expansion of the Mongol empire. With illustrations, maps, chronology and dynastic tables and a new introduction. (MGL24, $44.95)

Islam, A Short History

Islam, A Short History


by Karen Armstrong

  • HISTORY
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 230 PAGES

Armstrong brings authority and experience to this vivid, clear-headed survey of the history and impact of Islam, from the birth of Mohammad to present-day challenges. (ISL15, $17.00)

Islam, The Straight Path

Islam, The Straight Path


by John L. Esposito

  • RELIGION
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

A well-written survey of the faith, practice and beliefs of Islam. Its balanced tone and content are intended for an undergraduate audience, yet it also functions as an excellent overview for the general reader. (MDE22, $59.95)

Overthrow, America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq

Overthrow, America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq


by Stephen Kinzer

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

In this compelling review of American adventures overseas, Kinzer crisply outlines the events, politics and personalities of 14 cases in which America has brought down foreign governments over the last 110 years. (USA148, $19.99)

Passage to Afghanistan

Passage to Afghanistan


by Peter Bussian

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2016
  • HARD COVER
  • 224 PAGES

In 150 photographs, this memorable collection showcases the people, landscapes and cities of Afghanistan, the little-understood world that was the original epicenter of the War on Terror. (MDE236, $45.00)

Price of Honor, Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence on the Islamic World

Price of Honor, Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence on the Islamic World


by Jan Goodwin

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 363 PAGES

A heart-breaking account based on interviews with women from all walks of life in 10 countries in the Middle East, Arabia and Central Asia. (ISL19, $17.00)

Return of a King

Return of a King


by William Dalrymple

  • HISTORY
  • 2013
  • HARD COVER
  • 550 PAGES

A novelist, historian and writer of a string of magnificent travel accounts, William Dalrymple draws on remarkable new Afghani and Indian sources, his own hard travel through contemporary Afghanistan -- and his deep knowledge of India and the British Raj -- for this richly told, thrilling account of the causes and consequences of the humiliating (for the British) 1839-1842 battle for Afghanistan. (CAS218, $30.00)

The Punishment of Virtue, Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban

The Punishment of Virtue, Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban


by Sarah Chayes

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 386 PAGES

Remaining in Kandahar after her stint as an NPR reporter during the invasion, Chayes offers a beautifully written, poignant account of a community in the grip of violence and corrpuption. (CAS161, $18.00)

Tournament of Shadows, The Great Game and the Race for Empire in Central Asia


by Karl Meyer | Shareen Blair Brysac

  • HISTORY
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 672 PAGES

Journalists Meyer and Brysac recreate the blundering, xenophobic exploits of Russia and, especially, the British in 19th-century Central Asia in this grand tale. (CAS41, $24.95)

Islamic Art and Architecture

Islamic Art and Architecture


by Robert Hillenbrand

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

Covering 1000 years and the geographic scope of Islam, this book is a wide-ranging guide to the arts of Islam, including architecture, calligraphy, ceramics and textiles. (CAS17, $29.95)

Islamic Arts

Islamic Arts


by Jonathan Bloom | Sheila Blair

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 1997
  • PAPER
  • 445 PAGES
  • CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

A comprehensive survey of 1,000 years of Islamic architecture, design and decoration. Illustrated throughout with color photographs, maps and site plans. (ISL01, $29.95)

Traditional Textiles of Central Asia

Traditional Textiles of Central Asia


by Janet Harvey

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES

Harvey surveys the embroidery, silks, velvets, felts and other rich textile traditions of the Silk Road in this spectacularly illustrated guide. (CAS19, $24.95)

An Unexpected Light, Travels in Afghanistan

An Unexpected Light, Travels in Afghanistan


by Jason Elliot

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 512 PAGES

A vividly reported account of travels in Afghanistan. (CAS74, $23.00)

In Xanadu, A Quest

In Xanadu, A Quest


by William Dalrymple

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 314 PAGES

An intrepid traveler and entertaining writer, Dalrymple deftly observes the people and places he encounters on a journey from Jerusalem across Central Asia to China along the Silk Road, ending, like Marco Polo, at Xanadu, the summer palace of Kubla Khan. (CAS50, $15.95)

Khubilai Khan, His Life and Times

Khubilai Khan, His Life and Times


by Morris Rossabi

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 348 PAGES

This fascinating, scholarly portrait of the culture and politics of 13th-century Asia examines Khubilai Khan's rise to power, the submission of Korea and the attempted invasion of Japan. (CAS10, $34.95)

The Lost Heart of Asia

The Lost Heart of Asia


by Colin Thubron

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 374 PAGES

In this classic narrative, Thubron recounts his travels to Samarkand, Bukhara and throughout Central Asia in the wake of the breakup of the Soviet Union. A fine writer, intrepid traveler and insightful observer, he's an outstanding guide to the history, people and culture of the region. (CAS07, $15.99)

The Rise and Rule of Tamerlane

The Rise and Rule of Tamerlane


by Beatrice Forbes Manz

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 231 PAGES

A portrait of the great nomadic conqueror who rose to power in 1370 on the ruins of the Mongol Empire and led campaigns from Moscow to Delhi. (CAS11, $35.99)

The Road to Oxiana

The Road to Oxiana


by Robert Byron

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 292 PAGES

This brilliant portrait of Persia and Afghanistan mixes the eccentric Byron's droll adventures in the 1930s with asides on history and culture. (IRN01, $15.95)

The Way of the World

The Way of the World


by Nicolas Bouvier | Patrick Leigh Fermor

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

Subtitled Two Men in a Car from Geneva to the Khyber Pass, Bouvier's classic account of hard travel in a battered Fiat across Asia with artist friend Thierry Vernet in the 1950s is a cult classic. (TVL137, $16.95)

The World Is a Carpet, Four Seasons in an Afghan Village

The World Is a Carpet, Four Seasons in an Afghan Village


by Anna Badkhen

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

Badkhen's portrait of Oqa -- a remote Afghan desert village where heroin is cheaper than rice, people believe the world is flat and American fighter jets fly overhead -- illuminates the people, traditions and challenges of the place through the art of its intricately woven rugs. (CAS221, $16.00)

Walking the Himalayas

Walking the Himalayas


by Levison Wood

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2016
  • HARD COVER
  • 304 PAGES

Explorer Levison Wood recounts his six-month, 1,700-mile trek through Afghanistan, Kashmir, Pakistan, India and into the foothills of the Himalayas, describing the landscapes, people and dangers that he meets along the way. (HML142, $27.00)

A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns


by Khaled Hosseini

  • LITERATURE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

In this sequel to the bestselling The Kite Runner, Hosseini follows the fate, lives and loves of two young Afghani women struggling against a tyrannical husband during the Soviet occupation and the turbulent years afterwards. (CAS146, $16.00)

Flashman

Flashman


by George MacDonald Fraser

  • LITERATURE
  • 1986
  • PAPER
  • 252 PAGES

Flashman gets himself mixed up in Britain's First Afghan War, notably the humiliating (and in this version, hilarious) retreat from Kabul. (CAS83, $16.00)

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner


by Khaled Hosseini

  • LITERATURE
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 372 PAGES

In this riveting, memorable first novel Khaled Hosseini follows the fate of his two main characters (one a privileged Pashtun and the other a Hazara servant) though political and personal upheaval in Afghanistan and the United States. (CAS114, $16.00)

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