In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Recent Publications
  • Prepared with assistance from Cole Philips, Katherine Downs, Ahmed Eissa, and Kevin Whitmeyer.


Mataluna: 151 Afghan Pashto Proverbs, by Edward Zellem. Tampa, Cultures Direct Press, 2014. 167 pages. $15.95.

US Navy Captain Edward Zellem, who previously authored Zarbal Masalha: 151 Afghan Dari Proverbs, has compiled a collection of Afghan proverbs to spread the knowledge and wisdom found in Afghanistan’s Pashtun culture to a global audience. The book was compiled through a unique crowdsourcing venture on social media in which Zellem raised awareness of the project so that Pashto speakers in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and those living abroad could submit their favorite proverbs, which were then independently verified by editor Hares Ahmadzai. Each proverb in Mataluna is presented in Pashto script, transliteration, and an English translation. Students at Marefat High School in Kabul collaborated with Zellem to provide paintings to accompany each proverb as well. (KW)

The Good War: Why We Couldn’t Win the War or the Peace in Afghanistan, by Jack Fairweather. New York: Basic Books, 2014. 368 pages. $29.99.

In The Good War, war correspondent Jack Fairweather recounts the war in Afghanistan from its inception in 2001 following the September 11 attacks to the steady withdrawal of American forces in President Obama’s second term and explores how the righteous and overly ambitious aims of the United States prevented it from achieving any meaningful, lasting change in the country. The book is organized into three parts, covering the 2001–5, 2004–7, and 2009–14 periods. Fairweather asserts that Western leaders were out of touch with the political reality of Afghanistan and the surrounding region and with the nature of the people they were attempting to help. (AE)

One Million Steps: A Marine Platoon at War, by Bing West. New York: Random House, 2014. 320 pages. $27.

One Million Steps exposes the primal reality of war by providing a harrowing and sobering illustration of the daily threats and losses the 3rd Platoon of the United States Marines endured during their combat tour in Afghanistan. Bing West, an ex-marine infantry officer and former assistant secretary of defense for international security Affairs, critically examines US policy in Afghanistan, which he faults for forcing ordinary citizen-soldiers to be nation-builders. (AE) [End Page 663]


Contested Frontiers in the Syria-Lebanon-Israel Region: Cartography, Sovereignty, and Conflict, by Asher Kaufman. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2014. 304 pages. $65.

In Contested Frontiers in the Syria-Lebanon-Israel Region, Asher Kaufman examines the meeting point of Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, a small area home to Sunnis, Shi‘a, Druze, ‘Alawis, Christians, and Jews. Through a historical and cartographical study beginning with the first modern maps of the border region, to colonial and postindependence mapping, and to maps produced by those states in the 21st century, Kaufman exposes the disparity between sovereignty and the reality of disputed borders and border populations. He shows through this study how geographic landmarks such as Mount Hermon/Jabal al-Shaykh became one of Israel’s national symbols, while representing both Palestinian and Syrian nationalisms, as well as the struggle of the Lebanese group Hizbullah. (KD)

One Land, Two States: Israel and Palestine as Parallel States, edited by Mark LeVine and Mathias Mossberg. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2014. 296 pages. $29.95.

One Land, Two States challenges established understandings of state sovereignty and the Middle East peace process by examining the possibility and feasibility of Israeli and Palestinian states exercising sovereignty over the same territory. This collection of essays serves as a continuation of the discussion initiated in Lund University’s Parallel States Project, an initiative designed to stimulate dialogue on new forms for coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. (AE)


Bedouin of Mount Sinai: An Anthropological Study of Their Political Economy, by Emanuel Marx. New York: Berghahn Books, 2013. 208 pages. $75.

In Bedouin of Mount Sinai, Emanuel Marx addresses the effects of the changing political and economic conditions of the Bedouins of the Sinai Peninsula from the 1960s to the present. In seven chapters, he analyzes the impact of governments...


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