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This book is a indepth look into the cultural mechanisms of the Taliban and the social backdrop of Afghanistan prior and during the Taliban regime. Reading this book prior to September 11, 2001 brought a haunting and prophetic reality to the issues that Ahmad Rashid describes in this book. Rashid descriptively denotes the paramount dangers of terrorist universities in Afghanistan, and also mentions the Taliban resisitence, which formed the major coalition in today's new Afghan government. One problem Rashid quotes another scholar on Afghanistan is that Afghanistan's tulmultous plight is largely ignored by the rest of the world. With Rashid's extensive and thorough descriptions and conclusions, I believe that if more U.S. government officials read this book prior to 2001 perhaps more measures might have been taken to prevent the tragic events of 9-11. This book should definitely be part of required reading for all studying modern Afghanistan.