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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences



Kara Kush, A Novel of Afghanistan by Idries Shah (Overlook) an exciting and fast-paced novel in which "Kara Kush"-or "The Eagle," as the Afghan-born, American-schooled,  writer Adam Durany becomes known--returns to his homeland to help lead his people against the Soviet atrocities and communist infiltration that threaten to annihilate his country and its dreams of modernization. Adam, convinced that a resistance movement is imperative, rallies his followers, the ill-equipped patriots, to fight back. The novel first published in 1986 offers unique insight into the motives and character of Afghan fighters. During the Afghan-Russian war Idries Shah risked his life more than once on missions inside Afghanistan and with the Mujahuddin. Already in his sixties, he entered the country secretly -- had he been betrayed to the Russians, it would have been big propaganda coup.

Idries Shah is better known for his books on Sufism. Shah was the descendant of a thousand-year-old Afghan family, and an author and teacher who found success explaining the East to the West. Kara Kush is his only novel. It a fascinating well-told adventure in which a gifted writer sets out to inform the world about Afghan society, history, and culture. According to interviews with Shah upon it first publication, the novel is based on fact and eyewitness accounts, incorporating his first-hand knowledge of the amazing bravery of the Afghan people, and the horrendous atrocities inflicted upon them. Kara Kush has some fascinating facts of secret intelligence in the tale of action that was not common knowledge, such as the telephone number of the KGB. Idries Shah (1924-1996), whose family lived in Afghanistan for a thousand years, is an internationally known authority on the region and his books on Sufism are considered seminal. The Sufis, first published in 1964, is a first-of-its-kind modern statement on Sufism. Shah is the author of more than twenty books and has a readership spanning East and West.

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