Imperial Britain's Afghan AgonyIssue: Mar-Apr 2012
Diana Preston, The Dark Defile: Britain’s Catastrophic Invasion of Afghanistan, 1838–1842 (New York: Walker & Company, 2012), 320 pp., $28.00.
FOR MANY foreigners, the history of Afghanistan reads like a morose, Shakespearean tragedy. A litany of armies ventured into the fabled “graveyard of empires,” sometimes well-intentioned, only to face insurmountable challenges and withdraw in humiliating defeat. Without a doubt, the quintessential Afghan tragedy is the First Anglo-Afghan War, the subject of Diana Preston’s book, The Dark Defile: Britain’s Catastrophic Invasion of Afghanistan, 1838–1842.