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The Long Way Back [Hardcover]

Chris Alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 29 2011

Recent books and newspaper articles are full of dire reports on the future of Afghanistan, painting a bleak, violent picture of a nation with little chance for a peaceful outcome to its current troubles. Chris Alexander, former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan and former deputy head of the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, sees something different: a peace that is not only theoretically possible but practically achievable given the right conditions.

Admittedly, Afghanistan is far from stable: wounds left by thirty years of war are still raw. Terrorism is a daily menace. Roads are littered with Taliban bombs. Targeted killings and international impatience are fuelling Afghan anxieties. Regional warlords, drug barons and corrupt government officials all flout the conceit of a functional and unified nation. Pakistan's aggressive influence is a real and constant presence. Yet Alexander’s confidence in Afghanistan’s future has never flagged.

The Long Way Back tells the story of the historic achievements and bitter disappointments encountered on the road to political stability. Bu the book is much more than a first-hand account of recent events: it is a clear-eyed take on what has been achieved, the triumphs and failings of Afghans and foreigners alike, and why the country is still mired in conflict. With his direct access to and experience with the country's leaders, the international players and ordinary Afghan citizens, Alexander reveals a portrait of Afghanistan like non other and makes an insightful and bold argument for what it will take to achieve a lasting peace.

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About the Author

Chris Alexander is a diplomat and politician who served for eighteen years as an international public servant and Canadian foreign service officer. From 2005 to 2009 he was the UN deputy special representative in Afghanistan, helping to lead the largest UN political mission in the world. Alexander was also the Canadian ambassador to that country and a key contributor to the effort to stabilize and support post-Taliban Afghanistan. He returned to Canada in 2009 and is now the Conservative MP for Ajax-Pickering, where he lives, as well as the parliamentary secretary to the minister of national defense.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and thorough book on Afghanistan! Jan. 27 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a great book for anyone who is interested in understanding Afghanistan and the history that lead to the challenges the country is facing at this very crucial moment in history. It has a wonderful cats of characters and view the country across a number of sectors from politics and culture.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Piece of History Oct. 31 2011
My last name obviously outs me, so I declare my bias up front. Chris and I are family. But it's to your credit and benefit that you're still reading because this book is a nascent piece of history. I highly recommend it for anyone with a real interest in one of the most important multi-national efforts of the last decade. It takes you behind the scenes and it's frank. Chris has consistently championed the Afghan people. But his solicitation in this work is mild. Instead he presents facts as an insider. He takes us on a journey of achievements and setbacks and leaves room for the reader to form opinions. The richness of the history is also sweetened by personal anecdotes. He gives you a deep understanding of the political and historical landscape, then takes you with him on a wild slide down a glacier! I would not be suprised if this book shows up on University reading lists. I would not be suprised if this book will be referenced a century from now as the best Great Game histories and memoirs are today.
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