Intimate Portrait of the ‘Yagestan’ that is Afghanistan

Part history lesson, part personal recount and part scholarly review, Sarah Chayes’ intimate portrait of her post-9/11 years in Kandahar may strike some as being by turns idealistically naïve and yet devastatingly arch in its reading of Afghan realpolitik. What’s apparent is her genuine affection for the place, and her use of ‘yagestan’ as an organising concept to describe Afghan history and political culture is a refreshing take. Highly recommended if you’ve had enough “cups of tea”.

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