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 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 South Asian and Islamic history at UCLA and chair of the UCLA Program on Central Asia. His research focuses on the history and literature of the Muslim communities of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and the Indian Ocean. He is the author of Terrains of Exchange: Religious Economies of Global Islam and coeditor of Afghanistan in Ink: Literature Between Diaspora and Nation, both of which are available from Oxford University Press.