In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:
Prepared with assistance from Reva Dhingra, Tasha Prados, and Kevin A. Whitmeyer.
Military Adaptation in Afghanistan, edited by Theo Farrell, Frans Osinga, and James A. Russell. Stanford, CA: Stanford Security Studies, 2013. 368 pages. $24.08. The mission of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan has evolved from a focus on reconstruction and stabilization to providing active military support and training for Afghan security forces. As the contributors to Military Adaptation in Afghanistan demonstrate, this evolution involved the adaptation by ISAF to cope with an increasingly resistant insurgency and a changing sociopolitical environment. The contributors explore this adaptation through a series of case studies on primary country forces involved in the conflict, evaluating their responses in the context of political, technological, and operational pressures. This book concludes that adaptation occurred both strategically and operationally. Yet in most cases, excluding the US and NATO, it took place too haphazardly or slowly to prove effective. Military Adaptation in Afghanistan provides a resource for understanding how military institutions learn and adjust during an extended period of conflict. (RD)
No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes, by Anand Gopal. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2014. 289 pages. $27. In his first book, Afghanistan-based reporter Anand Gopal follows the lives of three Afghans: an insurgent Taliban commander, a member of the US-backed government, and a village housewife, successfully illustrating the problems with categorically labeling Afghans as “with us” or “against us.” The stories of these three are told in a way that enables US readers to relate to them and to better understand the realities of daily life in Afghanistan. Gopal’s four years of research in the Afghan countryside have resulted in an account that challenges the predominant US narrative of the war in Afghanistan. Gopal argues that much of the conflict stems from the US desire to clearly separate Afghans into enemies and allies, while remaining ignorant of individuals’ complex allegiances changing circumstances. No Good Men Among the Living is an approachable and insightful lens through which to examine America’s actions in Afghanistan. (TP)
The Two-State Solution: The UN Partition Resolution of Mandatory Palestine; Analysis and Sources, edited by Ruth Gavison. New York: Bloomsbury, 2013. 304 pages. $39.95. This volume is a compilation of primary sources and essays by Israeli and Palestinian authors that focus on the process and primary debates surrounding the 1947 passage of UN General Assembly Resolution 181, partitioning British-mandated Palestine into two separate states. The book’s contributors analyze the historical and political context of the Zionist movement and Palestinian position, focusing on the significance of the UN resolution as outlining the contours of a two-state solution that has yet to take shape. By focusing on the legal and international implications of the resolution, the text emphasizes the current nature of the historical, political, and emotional debates surrounding the creation of the State of Israel. (RD)
Out of Bounds: Academic Freedom and the Question of Palestine, by Matthew Abraham. New York, Bloomsbury, 2014. 392 pages. $29.95. DePaul University’s Matthew Abraham argues that academic freedom in American universities has been curtailed by pressure from the influential “Israel lobby.” Out of Bounds contends that scholarship critical of Israeli policies has been systematically stifled to such an extent that the vast majority of scholars recognize the subject as a third rail in academia. Abraham contends throughout the book that critics of Israeli/Zionist policies are frequently and systematically blacklisted and labeled anti-Semites, using as examples the controversies surrounding Norman Finkelstein, Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, and Fouzi El-Asmar. The book is intended to reach intellectuals concerned that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not adequately addressed in US academic discourse. (KW)
Revolution Graffiti: Street Art of the New Egypt, by Mia Gröndahl. Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2013. 193 pages. $25.50 paper. In Revolution Graffiti, Mia Gröndahl documents the rapidly evolving political street art that covered the walls of Cairo following Egypt’s 2011 Revolution. Through more than 430 color photographs of graffiti...
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