A memoir of the two years we lived and worked in Kabul, Afghanistan with the Teachers College, Columbia University contract team. This was a time of peace for this afflicted country, before the introduction of Peace Corps volunteers, before the overthrow of the king in 1973, before the Soviet invasion of 1979, before the tribal civil war and subsequent takeover by the Taliban, and before the American invasion of 2001. The author reflects on his time and work there as part of the broader U.S. technical assistance effort in the period of the Cold War, told as a purely personal recollection.
The author is Professor emeritus of English, University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he specialized in English language and linguistics and where he established the university's Program in English as a Second Language to support international students. His work has taken him to Japan, India, Poland, and China in addition to Afghanistan.