The Odyssey Guide to Afghanistan is a cultural, historical and practical guide for those interesting in more than just the country’s violent history. Thanks to 20 years of civil war and its association with terrorism, Afghanistan is now unjustly thought of in the West as a barbarous backwater. Afghanistan: A Companion and Guide aims to dispel this image in a comprehensive introduction to 3,500 years of Afghan culture. Starting with a full history of the country from 1500BC, each chapter looks at the major cities and regions, describing their distinctive cultural and ethnic traditions, their associations with poets, artists, musicians, travelers and holy men, as well as warriors and conquerors. Ancient and modern sources from Afghanistan are extensively quoted, as well as the thoughts, musings and experiences of writers from America, Europe, Russia, China, India and the Middle East, including such luminaries as Robert Byron and Bruce Chatwin.
Experienced Afghan traveller Matthew Leeming contributes detailed information for those who intend to visit the country as tourists, with guides to specific cities and areas, as well as more general advice. Elizabeth Chatwin, whose famous 1970s journey to Afghanistan with her husband Bruce Chatwin and poet Peter Levi was immortalised in The Light Garden of the Angel King, contributes an introduction. A number of specialist essays by leading experts further present topics such as archeology, architecture, carpets, miniature painting, music, flora and fauna.
Wonderfully illustrated with superb images from world-renowned photographers, this book also features engravings, paintings and images of priceless museum artifacts. This lavish publication reveals the immense treasury of cultural, historical and natural wealth too frequently forgotten that is Afghanistan.
- Introduction by Elizabeth Chatwin, veteran Afghan traveller
- Sumptuously produced with illustrations from world-renowned photographers such as Michael Yamashita, Roland and Sabrina Michaud and Wilfred Thesiger
- Strong on history with coverage from Alexander the Great to Hamid Karzai
- Literary excerpts from Herodotus to Robert Byron, Bruce Chatwin and Peter Levi
- To be enjoyed by adventurers who never leave the armchair and by intrepid visitors
- Experienced Afghan traveler contributes detailed tourist information with guides to specific cities and areas
- Written by authors with both academic and first-hand knowledge of the country
- Includes rare archival material such as 19th century paintings and engravings from the Bodleian Library and the Royal Geographical Society
About this series:
Up-market cultural guides with excellent colour photography and frequent use of literary excerpts, tending to cover more exotic destinations. Basic location maps and concise practical advice are included. The literary excerpts, taken from travel writers together with translations from the work of indigenous writers and poets, create a distinctive tone unique to this series.