The key to understanding the calamitous Afghan war is the complex, ultimately failed relationship between the Karzai family and the United States, portrayed here by the former Kabul bureau chief for The Washington Post.
[Partlow] does a splendid job of tracing the history of President Karzai and his sprawling family ... there have been very few well-written, deeply reported, well-balanced and interesting accounts of what transpired during America’s longest war. Partlow’s is one of them.
Partlow’s valuable new book enables its readers to understand Afghanistan better – or, at least as well as the author does. It also offers a compelling portrait of former Afghan President Hamid Karzai ... Partlow may not succeed in answering all the questions surrounding the Karzai family, but he at least offers a nuanced understanding of this very intriguing clan and their deeds.
...[a] finely reported book ... Mr Partlow overstates the extent to which the Afghan people shared their president’s disillusionment with his tormentors. But he is right that Mr Karzai identified many of the mistakes America made, only to be ignored.