from the publisher:
No nation is more critical to United States foreign policy than Pakistan. Wedged between India and Afghanistan, it is the second-largest country in the Islamic world, and is situated in one of the world's most volatile regions. It has also assumed a commanding role in militant Islam -- a frightening portent being its embrace of Afghanistan's bizarre fundamentalist student militia, the Taliban. With a dozen or so private Islamist armies and some thirty to fifty nuclear weapons, it is considered one of the most frightening places on earth. Its disintegration would pose an unthinkable threat to the United States and the West, but the man who will determine Pakistan's future course is the little-known and enigmatic General Pervez Musharraf.
In Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan, Mary Anne Weaver elucidates a country in turmoil through two decades of eyewitness reporting and unparalleled access to Pakistan's presidents, prime ministers, generals, and politicians. Here are rare and revealing portraits of General Musharraf, who rose through the ranks to become Benazir Bhutto's Chief of Military Operations and then assumed control in a historic military coup; of General Zia, who launched Pakistan on its present militant Islamist course while at the same time transforming it into the hub of U.S. policy on the Indian subcontinent; and of Benazir Bhutto herself -- charismatic, imperious, conflicted, commanding, and the first woman prime minister of an Islamic country.
Weaver provides an essential background for those seeking to understand Pakistan and the problems confronting the international community, and poses some deeply disturbing questions about the future of conflict in South Asia. Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan stands as a compelling and significant testament to an enormously complex nation.
"Clear-eyed reporting and graceful prose in a highly readable -- and sobering -- work of political geography for policymakers and anyone concerned by the risks of an uncertain future." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)Mary Anne Weaver is a foreign correspondent for The New Yorker and the author of A Portrait of Egypt: A Journey Through the World of Militant Islam. An Alicia Patterson Fellow for 2001, she and her husband divide their time between New York City and Santa Monica.