Originally published in 1984, Revolutions and Rebellions provided the first focused consideration of the Saur Revolution in Afghanistan and the subsequent Soviet invasion and occupation of the country. Read now, with the knowledge that Afghanistan would experience 40 years of sustained war, it offers an opportunity for fresh insight into the antecedents of this enduring conflict. A new foreword by editors M. Nazif Shahrani and Robert L. Canfield contextualizes this collection, which relies on extensive fieldwork in the years leading up to the Soviet invasion. The essays consider specific tribal, ethnic, and gender groups within the context of their region, and by exploring the local responses to issues such as the notion of jihad outside of Kabul, this collection offers a nuanced understanding of the political culture of Afghanistan. Revolutions and Rebellions provides an extraordinary opportunity to experience the diversity of the Afghan people on the cusp of irrevocable change and to understand what they expected then of the years ahead.
M. Nazif Shahrani is Professor of Anthropology, Central Eurasian Studies, and Near Eastern Languages and Culture at Indiana University. He is author of Afghanistan's Alternatives for Peace, Governance and Development: Transforming Subjects to Citizens and Rulers to Civil Servants. Robert L. Canfield is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. He is editor (with Gabriele Rasuly-Paleczek) of Ethnicity, Authority, and Power in Central Asia: New Games Great and Small.