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Afghanistan: The Soviet Union's Last War [Paperback]

Mark Galeotti
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 30 2001 071468242X 978-0714682426 1
The Soviet Union's last war was played out against the backdrop of dramatic change within the USSR. This is the first book to study the impact of the war on Russian politics and society. Based on extensive use of Soviet official and unofficial sources, as well as work with Afghan veterans, it illustrates the way the war fed into a wide range of other processes, from the rise of grassroots political activism to the retreat from globalism in foreign policy.

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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on the Soviet war in Afghanistan Aug. 21 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I picked this up because I'm interested in the war(s) in Afghanistan, but to be honest I thought it might be a little dated because it was published in 1995. Boy, was I wrong! There are a few details which have emerged since in later books (especially by Les Grau), but this is an amazing overview not just of the war but of the effects this had back in Russia, from the problems the vets faced to how it changed the High Command. And it's written very clearly, even with humor. Highly recommended!
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong and coherent treatment Nov. 22 2001
By Carter A. Malkasian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Even though the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan is often viewed as their Vietnam, there are suprisingly few books on the subject. The books that do exist often derive from the experiences of a particular journalist or soldier. While such books are extremely valuable, they do not provide an overall treatment of the war and its relevance to the wider world.
Mark Galeotti provides a more historical and wider view of the war. He discusses the Soviet Union's involvement in the war and its effects on that country. He particularly addresses the argument that the war in Afghanistan was central to the fall of the Soviet Union. In pursuing this argument, a detailed and compelling analysis of the effects of the war upon the Soviet Union is provided.
The major problem with the book is that at times it feels spotty. Galeotti sometimes exhaustively focuses on issues that are tangential to his argument, such as the role of Afghan veterans in Soviet/Russian society, while providing only adequate amounts of detail on the actual war in Afghanistan. The overall history of military operations is covered very briefly. In particular, analysis of military effectiveness focuses almost entirely on tactics and does not attempt a detailed appraisal of flaws/strengths in Soviet strategy.
Nevertheless, this is a very strong book and certainly vital reading for understanding the importance of the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on the Soviet war in Afghanistan Aug. 21 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I picked this up because I'm interested in the war(s) in Afghanistan, but to be honest I thought it might be a little dated because it was published in 1995. Boy, was I wrong! There are a few details which have emerged since in later books (especially by Les Grau), but this is an amazing overview not just of the war but of the effects this had back in Russia, from the problems the vets faced to how it changed the High Command. And it's written very clearly, even with humor. Highly recommended!
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