At the time of the 9/11 attacks, few people in America had heard of the Taliban. And in 2000, when Ahmed Rashid wrote the bestselling Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, based on his experiences as a journalist covering the civil war in Afghanistan for twenty years, traveling and living with the Taliban, and interviewing most of the Taliban leaders since their emergence to power in 1994, the book offered, and still does, the only authoritative account of the Taliban available to English-language readers. Last year, we published a second edition with a new introduction and an all-new final chapter.
Now that the story continues with the recent death of al-Qaeida leader, Osama bin Laden, Rashid has been interviewing and writing op-eds about bin Laden’s role within the organization and what his death means for the future. Yesterday, he appeared alongside John McLaughlin, Yochi Dreazen, and Paul Pillar on WAMU’s Diane Rehm Show, with guest host Susan Page. He also had an op-ed that ran in the Financial Times, and his book was even referenced in the New York Times obituary for bin Laden. Today, you can listen to Rashid as he interviews on WHYY’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross.