By William T. Vollmann
Never ahead of to be had in paperback and all yet invisible for two decades, a private account of the origins of America's longest war.
In 1982, the younger William Vollmann labored strange jobs, together with as a secretary at an coverage corporation, until eventually he'd stored up sufficient funds to visit Afghanistan, the place he desired to sign up for the mujahedeen to struggle the Soviets. The ensuing publication wasn't released till 1992, and Library Journal rated it: "The incorrect e-book written on the flawed time. . . . With the location in Afghanistan speedily heading towards resolution . . . libraries might effectively pass this."
Thirty years later--and with the us nonetheless mired within the longest battle of its history--it's time for a reassessment of Vollmann's heartfelt story of idealism and its terrifying betrayals.
An alloy of documentary and autobiographical components attribute of Vollmann's later nonfiction, An Afghanistan photo Show isn't really a piece of traditional reportage; as an alternative, it really is an account of a refined and obdurate recognition grappling with the bounds of will and idealism imposed by way of violence and chaos.
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Additional info for An Afghanistan Picture Show: Or, How I Saved the World
His two new friends, Akbar and Muhammed Ibrahim, stood protectively on either side. Muhammed Ibrahim insisted on carrying his pack for him. The Young Man, who’d spent hours in the heat trying to get his railway ticket to Peshawar, being bullied by people who wanted to do him expensive services, terrified by wailing beggar-women who pantomimed that they were dying of hunger (were they? how could he tell? ), cheek-stroked by smiling prostitutes, reviled by the men in official red uniforms (COOLIE NO.
Strong-looking, swarthy men stood all around, rubbing their beards and conversing in low, serious voices. They looked at the Young Man, but left him to himself. Akbar and Muhammed Ibrahim smiled at him kindly. That made him feel guilty again, because he had presented himself to them falsely. Since he could be arrested for trying to cross the Afghan border, he’d told everyone who asked that his purpose was to visit Pakistan. When Akbar and Muhammed Ibrahim discovered that he did not intend to go on to India, they were astonished and touched by his interest in their country.
The red hill  It is part of the fragmentation of life that after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan I wanted to go there. It sounded like a treasure-trove of nightmares. Allow me to quote briefly from the Encyclopædia Britannica to set my expectations’ scene: A kingdom in … For information about border disputes … great central range of mountains … a series of deep ravines and broken ridges … more than 115°F in the summer, while in the highlands of Kabul … to -15°F in February … the influence of the southwest monsoon hardly extends beyond Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan … a dry, invigorating atmosphere … periodic blizzards … large forest trees … The lowest terminal ridges, especially toward the west, are naked in aspect … Wild animals include the wolf, fox, hyena, wild dog, wildcat, common leopard, mongoose, wild sheep, mole, shrew, hedgehog, bat, several species of jumping mouse, jerboa and pika hare.
An Afghanistan Picture Show: Or, How I Saved the World by William T. Vollmann