The Battle for Afghanistan: 19th Century and Now

Monday, April 22, 2013

Award-winning historian, journalist, and travel writer William Dalrymple talks about the spectacular first battle for Afghanistan: the British invasion of the remote kingdom in 1839, and argues that it’s an important parable of neocolonial ambition, folly, and hubris that has striking relevance to our own time. Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan: 1839-42 illuminates the uncanny similarities between the West’s first disastrous entanglement with Afghanistan and the situation today.


William Dalrymple

Comments [6]


Afghanistan, "the graveyard of Empires".

Apr. 23 2013 11:57 PM

fascinating, thanks.

Apr. 23 2013 08:33 PM

yes of course thats correct, but a different issue.

Apr. 22 2013 03:34 PM
Amy from Manhattan

When you say the Afghan leader's girlfriend was "seduced" by a British (um, I didn't catch who he was), how much choice do you think she had? Was it really a seduction, or was it more likely a rape? Is there any way to know?

...& the segment's over. I gotta start sooner or type faster. Good segment, anyway.

hjs11211, I think the real issue is, what gives anyone the right to conquer Afghanistan, or anyplace else? If outside powers had left it alone in the 1st place, things might not be so messed up there, or in the rest of the world, now.

Apr. 22 2013 01:02 PM
Tony from Canarsie

I can't recommend Mr. Dalrymple's extremely well researched and written book enough to your listeners. I look forward to his next one. Thanks for having him on.

Apr. 22 2013 12:53 PM

I was so glad to hear Mr Dalrymple on TV this morning say, yes Afghanistan is conquerable (ie by the Mongols.)
The real issue is no one really wants to put the effort into it.
What value is Afghanistan to global capitalism?

Apr. 22 2013 12:27 PM

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