The great gamble: the Soviet war in Afghanistan

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“Fascinating….A highly readable history of the conflict.” —New York Times Book Review

In The Great Gamble, a groundbreaking account of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, former NPR Moscow correspondent Gregory Feifer vividly depicts the war that contributed greatly to the demise of the USSR, and that offers striking lessons for the 21st century, as well. Told from the perspective of the Russians who fought it,The Great Gamble offers valuable insight into the history of Afghanistan’s troubled government and the rise of the Mujahideen and Al-Qaeda. In the words of theMinneapolis Star Tribune, “Feifer has done truly extraordinary research… For all its heft, [The Great Gamble] is an effortless read—an unusual and gratifying combination.”

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full_title great gamble the soviet war in afghanistan
author feifer gregory
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-20 04:52:59AM

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The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a grueling debacle that has striking lessons for American foreign policy today. In The Great Gamble, Gregory Feifer examines the war from the perspective of the soldiers on the ground. During the last years of the Cold War, the Soviet Union sent some of its most elite troops to unfamiliar lands in Central Asia to fight a vaguely defined enemy, which eventually defeated their superior number with unconventional tactics. Although the Soviet leadership initially saw the invasion as a victory, many Russian soldiers came to view the war as a demoralizing and devastating defeat, the consequences of which had a substantial impact on the Soviet Union and its collapse.

Feifer's extensive research includes fascinating interviews with participants from both sides of the conflict. In gripping detail, he vividly depicts the invasion of a volatile country that no power has ever successfully conquered. Parallels between the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq are impossible to ignore: Both conflicts were waged amid vague ideological rhetoric about freedom. Both were roundly condemned by the outside world for trying to impose their favored forms of government on countries with very different ways of life. And both seem destined to end on uncertain terms. The Great Gamble tells an unforgettable story full of drama, action, and political intrigue whose relevance in our own time is greater than ever.

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physical 1 online resource (1 audio file (600 min.)) : digital., 326 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
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publishDate 2009
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publisher Harper,, Tantor Media
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subject_facet Afghanistan -- History -- Soviet occupation, 1979-1989, Soviet Union -- History, Military
table_of_contents Invasion considered: a short victorious war -- Storm-333: the invasion -- The Soviets dig in -- The Mujahideen fight back -- The Soviets seek victory -- The tide turns -- Endgame -- Aftermath.
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title The great gamble : the Soviet war in Afghanistan
title_display The great gamble : the Soviet war in Afghanistan
title_full The Great Gamble The Soviet War in Afghanistan, The great gamble : the Soviet war in Afghanistan / Gregory Feifer, The great gamble [electronic resource] : the Soviet war in Afghanistan / Gregory Feifer
title_short The great gamble :
title_sort great gamble the soviet war in afghanistan
title_sub the Soviet war in Afghanistan
topic History, Nonfiction
topic_facet History, Nonfiction