1. The Places In Between, Rory Stewart (2004). In January 2002, Stewart walked across Afghanistan. He sleeps in snow drifts, encounters villages burned and deserted because of the Taliban. Along the way he encounters extreme hospitality, extreme brutality and humor, surviving on his knowledge of local language, the hospitality of strangers and an adopted Mastiff. Stewart seems to be in the model of bygone English adventurers, diplomats and statesman. He went on to serve in Iraq for the UK and later to become a Minister of Parliament. Bought new.
3. Between the Oxus and the Jumna, Arnold Toynbee (1961). Toynbee is a British scholar who traveled Afghanistan and surrounding countries in the early 1960s referring to it as the "roundabout of the world." Color pictures. Bought used but can't remember where.
4. Night Letters: Inside Wartime Afghanistan, Rob Schultheis (1992). A haunting, impressionist book that gives an account of the Afghan civil war with the Soviets. Schultheis traveled between the lines of the fighting gaining the trust of the Mujaheddin. A gift from a friend.
5. The Man Who Would be King: The First American in Afghanistan, Ben Macintyre (2004). Like something out Kipling, Macintyre tells the story of a Pennsylvania Quaker who enters Afghanistan in the 1840s. Harlan loses sight of himself and seeks to become a king-like figure among the tribes of Afghanistan. Great pictures. Bought new.
6. North from Kabul, Andrew Wilson (1961). Wilson traveled through the heart of Afghanistan in the early 1960s. Book purchased used from Elliott Bay Books, Seattle, WA. Previously owned by one Bill Williams, Ahlman Academy, American Embassy, Kabul, Afghanistan, 1968 with a purple library stamp from the institution.