My Life: From Brigand to King--Autobiography of Amir Habibullah

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9780863040474: My Life: From Brigand to King--Autobiography of Amir Habibullah
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In 1929 a ruthless, illiterate brigand chief called Bacha Saquo--"son of a water-carrier"--overthrew Amanullah Khan in a bloody coup and declared himself king of Afghanistan. The ensuing nine months, until the heroic Nadir Shah and his brothers deposed the outlaw, is referred to by the Afghans as the Reign of Terror.

This book is Bacha Saquo's own story, as dictated to his companion Jamal Gul, and translated from Jamal's original Persian. From childhood murder and arson, to his last days in prison before the firing squad, Bacha Saquo's narrative is without a trace of remorse. His description of a cunning ascent to "king" of brigands is disarmingly engaging. He tells of a wandering Mullah who fired his royal ambitions with a prophecy of kingship. And in a matter-of-fact style, he recounts the strategies and tactics of terror, torture and extortion that were his methods of rule. From Brigand to King is a shocking look through the eyes and mind of one of the most ruthless dictators of the century. It shows us patterns of human thought and behavior that make this phenomenon an ever-present possibility.

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From the Publisher:

This Machiavellian journey is an illustration of how a single-minded, ruthless character ensures his own destiny because he is prepared to pay the price, any price. His clear-sighted, acute observations, his bravery and cruelty, his willingness to use both "good" and "bad" qualities and actions to further his goal, make exciting, shocking, hilarious, and mystifying reading.

Review:

"...nothing if not lurid ... has contemporary relevance." -- Daily Telegraph

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Amir Habibullah; Jamal Gul
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Amir Habibullah, Gul, Jamal
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