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Massoud: An Intimate Portrait of the Legendary Afghan Leader

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Author and translator Marcela Grad explores the life of the late Afghan leader, Ahmad Shah Massoud, through personal stories told to her by those who accompanied Massoud during his struggle to liberate Afghanistan from the Soviet invasion and the Taliban, and by others from around the world who knew and helped Massoud. Ahmad Shah Massoud was assassinated by Al Qaeda suicid Author and translator Marcela Grad explores the life of the late Afghan leader, Ahmad Shah Massoud, through personal stories told to her by those who accompanied Massoud during his struggle to liberate Afghanistan from the Soviet invasion and the Taliban, and by others from around the world who knew and helped Massoud. Ahmad Shah Massoud was assassinated by Al Qaeda suicide bombers posing as journalists just two days before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It is widely believed that Massoud was killed to help pave the way for 9/11. Today, Massoud is considered the national hero of Afghanistan and the September 9th anniversary of his death is a national holiday there. Grad spent over four years interviewing a diverse group of Afghans who were commanders, members of the mujahideen, personal secretaries, envoys, women of the resistance, and members of Massoud’s family.


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Author and translator Marcela Grad explores the life of the late Afghan leader, Ahmad Shah Massoud, through personal stories told to her by those who accompanied Massoud during his struggle to liberate Afghanistan from the Soviet invasion and the Taliban, and by others from around the world who knew and helped Massoud. Ahmad Shah Massoud was assassinated by Al Qaeda suicid Author and translator Marcela Grad explores the life of the late Afghan leader, Ahmad Shah Massoud, through personal stories told to her by those who accompanied Massoud during his struggle to liberate Afghanistan from the Soviet invasion and the Taliban, and by others from around the world who knew and helped Massoud. Ahmad Shah Massoud was assassinated by Al Qaeda suicide bombers posing as journalists just two days before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It is widely believed that Massoud was killed to help pave the way for 9/11. Today, Massoud is considered the national hero of Afghanistan and the September 9th anniversary of his death is a national holiday there. Grad spent over four years interviewing a diverse group of Afghans who were commanders, members of the mujahideen, personal secretaries, envoys, women of the resistance, and members of Massoud’s family.

30 review for Massoud: An Intimate Portrait of the Legendary Afghan Leader

  1. 5 out of 5

    Onur Yilmaz

    Kitap, Penşir Aslanı olarak bilinen Ahmed Şah Mesud'u konu alıyor. Rus işgaline karşı önemli başarılarıyla dikkat çeken Ahmed Şah Mesud, daha sonra Taliban'ın da alt edemediği önemli bir savaşçı; ama kitap onun bu savaşçı kimliğinden ve siyasi tutumundan ziyade, karakterine odaklanıyor. Zor savaş koşullarında dahi elden bırakmadığı nezaketi, tavizsiz uyguladığı adaleti, yardımseverliği ve Afgan kadınlarının eğitimi için gösterdiği çabalarla insanların haklı sevgi ve saygısını kazanmış bir lider. Kitap, Penşir Aslanı olarak bilinen Ahmed Şah Mesud'u konu alıyor. Rus işgaline karşı önemli başarılarıyla dikkat çeken Ahmed Şah Mesud, daha sonra Taliban'ın da alt edemediği önemli bir savaşçı; ama kitap onun bu savaşçı kimliğinden ve siyasi tutumundan ziyade, karakterine odaklanıyor. Zor savaş koşullarında dahi elden bırakmadığı nezaketi, tavizsiz uyguladığı adaleti, yardımseverliği ve Afgan kadınlarının eğitimi için gösterdiği çabalarla insanların haklı sevgi ve saygısını kazanmış bir lider. Adeta bir ahlak abidesi olarak, günümüzde çok özlenen davranış örneklerini büyük bir doğallıkla sergilediğini, öncelikle ailesi, sonra yakın arkadaşları ve son olarak onunla yolu kesişen bir çok kişinin anlatımlarına dayalı olarak öğrendiğimiz bir sözlü tarih çalışması. Kitap kişi anlatımlarına dayalı olduğu için baştan sonra yazarın kendi üslubunu taşımıyor; bununla birlikte anekdot zenginliği sayesinde tanıyanların başka neler söylediği merakını uyandırıyor. Kitapta, savaş yıllarında Ahmed Şah Mesud ile aylar süren uzunlukta birlikte vakit geçiren Japon fotoğrafçı Hiromi Nagakura'nun seçkin fotoğrafları da var. Arka kapak, Ahmed Şah Mesud'un yakın arkadaşı olan eski Afganistan Büyükelçisi Mesud Halili'nin Türkçe baskı için mesajını da taşıyor. Tevazu kıymetlidir. Her ortamda. Değeri bilinmeli. Kitap www.matbuat.com.tr adresinde

  2. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    This was an interesting way to write a biography. I would like to read more about Massoud. Before this I'd heard bits and pieces about him and seen a few mentions of him in documentaries but hadn't seen or read anything exclusively about him. The format for this book was done in a unique way. It as a collection of memories about him from the people who knew him over the course of his life. Some of them were several pages long and some were no more than a few sentences. I would recommend this boo This was an interesting way to write a biography. I would like to read more about Massoud. Before this I'd heard bits and pieces about him and seen a few mentions of him in documentaries but hadn't seen or read anything exclusively about him. The format for this book was done in a unique way. It as a collection of memories about him from the people who knew him over the course of his life. Some of them were several pages long and some were no more than a few sentences. I would recommend this book to someone wanting to learn more about him or about Afghanistan in general but I can't believe that there isn't a equal or better biography on the man out there somewhere. Based on the memories of the people who knew him and what little I've heard and read now, I'm even more impressed with the man. It's unfortunate that I won't ever be afforded the opportunity to meet him and equally unfortunate that the world and Afghanistan is denied his leadership.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mehmet Akif Koç

    İspanyol Gazeteci Grad'ın ilk el tanıklıklar üzerinden kaleme aldığı kitap, efsanevi Afgan Komutan Ahmed Şah Mesud üzerine iyi bir biyografi... Özellikle Mesud'un zor şartlar altında dahi muhafaza ettiği 'insan ve mümin' yönüne yapılan vurgu ve Hikmetyar-Taliban-el Kaide'nin yıkıcı rolünün ele alındığı bölümler kaydadeğer...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Massoud was the leader of the United Front in Afghanistan's long wars against Soviet occupation and the cruel Taliban regime supported by Pakistan. As this book describes, he was also a singular figure in history--a warrior mystic. You really get the feel of this from Massoud: An Intimate Portrait in that his story is told through the individuals whose lives he touched. This group includes Afghan villagers, friendly as well as "enemy" Afghani and Russian soldiers to western officials and the int Massoud was the leader of the United Front in Afghanistan's long wars against Soviet occupation and the cruel Taliban regime supported by Pakistan. As this book describes, he was also a singular figure in history--a warrior mystic. You really get the feel of this from Massoud: An Intimate Portrait in that his story is told through the individuals whose lives he touched. This group includes Afghan villagers, friendly as well as "enemy" Afghani and Russian soldiers to western officials and the international press. The book is interspersed with quotes from Persian literature as well as figures such as Borges to provide a moving account.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Colin

    This is a collection of interviews with people who knew and revered him. It is very reverential and spiritual, but there is an absence of history, or explaining of his military strategies that helped.him defeat the Soviets and the Taliban. I still learned a great deal.about him, but he is almost deified in this book. He remains revered in Afghanistan, I know most substantive books about him are in French. Sebastian Junger met him and he too is quoted numerous times. Unfortunately, I was looking This is a collection of interviews with people who knew and revered him. It is very reverential and spiritual, but there is an absence of history, or explaining of his military strategies that helped.him defeat the Soviets and the Taliban. I still learned a great deal.about him, but he is almost deified in this book. He remains revered in Afghanistan, I know most substantive books about him are in French. Sebastian Junger met him and he too is quoted numerous times. Unfortunately, I was looking for more history and less flattery.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Adil Hussain

    This is a must read for anyone wanting to understand the late Afghan leader Ahmad Shah Massoud and why he was/is revered as much as he is by his countrymen. It's also of interest generally to those familiar with the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and that period of Afghan history (the latter quarter of the 20th century). It's not a chronologically ordered biography but a collection of short reflections by various people who were part of his life. It's well structured into separate chapters wher This is a must read for anyone wanting to understand the late Afghan leader Ahmad Shah Massoud and why he was/is revered as much as he is by his countrymen. It's also of interest generally to those familiar with the Russian invasion of Afghanistan and that period of Afghan history (the latter quarter of the 20th century). It's not a chronologically ordered biography but a collection of short reflections by various people who were part of his life. It's well structured into separate chapters where each chapter has a focus on a particular aspect of his life or a particular aspect of his character. For sure it's a book of praise rather than a critical look at his life but it's still a worthwhile read nonetheless.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    A revolutionary leader. Massoud represents the embodiment of both Islamic piety and the Afghan National Movement. This book is a very personal account of his life from the stories and interactions of those closest to him. As Marcela Grad notes in the introduction: It is by no means an unbiased account, but rather, it is a celebration of the life of Massoud, and an account of the movement that he spent his life in leading. Grad does an outstanding job of fulfilling this goal.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Najim

  9. 5 out of 5

    C Baker

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chris Crump

  11. 4 out of 5

    Celine M

  12. 5 out of 5

    Abdullah

  13. 4 out of 5

    James Berechree

  14. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Vlek

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emanori

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elaine

  17. 4 out of 5

    Salih Dogan

  18. 4 out of 5

    Del Ua Briain

  19. 4 out of 5

    Zabih Akhgar

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joe Schoenfeldt

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dansternik

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dan

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hasamudin

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad

  27. 5 out of 5

    Davis

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dennis

  29. 4 out of 5

    Justin

  30. 5 out of 5

    Asko Ardbeg

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