The Last Warlord

The Last Warlord
The Last Warlord

The Last Warlord

The Life and Legend of Dostum, the Afghan Warrior Who Led US Special Forces to Topple the Taliban Regime
By Brian Williams


352 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth, PDF, Mobipocket, EPUB

Cloth, $28.95 (US $28.95) (CA $31.95)

ISBN 9781613748008

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Sep 2013)


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The first eyewitness account of the previously hidden world of an Afghan warlord 
Chronicling the spectacular rise to power of General Abdul Rashid Dostum, this is an intimate profile of the one of the most powerful warlords to have dominated Afghanistan in the years since the Soviet withdrawal in the late 1980s. His rise from simple peasant villager to warrior against the repressive policies of the Taliban and Al Qaeda is told by one of the few outsiders to be accepted into Dostum’s stronghold in the northern deserts of Afghanistan. Thanks to this unprecedented access, author Brian Glyn Williams was able to conduct lengthy interviews with Dostum and his family, as well as his subcommanders, local chieftains, mullahs, Taliban enemies, prisoners of war, and women’s rights activists. What emerges is an intensely personal account of the Mongol warlord, detailing his childhood, motivations, hopes for his country, and conviction that it is time for a new generation of Western-trained technocrats to shape his country’s destiny. With the drawing down of U.S. troops in 2014 and Dostum poised to reenter the world stage to fight a resurgent Taliban, this timely analysis provides important historical context to the controversy swirling around Afghanistan’s warlord culture and is an essential contribution to the debate on Afghanistan’s future.


“A riveting account of a warlord’s rise to power that has all the drama, intrigue, and warfare of The Kite Runner, only this Afghan story is real.†â€â€Scott C. Levi, associate professor of Central Asian history, Ohio State University

“A jewel. General Abdul Rashid Dostum is a crucial and colorful character in the United States’ stunning victory over the Taliban.† â€â€Peter Eichstaedt, author, Above the Din of War

"...will appeal mostly to academics and those with an intense interest in the collapse of the Taliban."â€â€Kirkus Reviews

"Dostum’s story of never-ending battles, assassination attempts, and alliances forming and breaking in the blink of an eye is fascinating, whether he is regarded as hero or villain." â€â€Publishers Weekly

“The Last Warlord sheds essential light on the political challenges and drama that continue to grip Afghanistan. When the last regular US troops have left that country, the Uzbek fighter and politician Abdul Rashidâ€â€Dostumâ€â€as well as Tajiks, Hazaras, and Pashtun, will remain, and Williams’s book is an illuminating guide to what may lie ahead.†â€â€Doug Stanton, New York Times bestselling author of In Harm’s Way and Horse Soldiers

“The Last Warlord is an in-depth look at one of the most important figures of the war in Afghanistan. Dostum played a key role in the early years of the war, and Williams does a great job telling the story of a very complex man and the Americans that fought with him.†â€â€Kevin Maurer, coauthor of No Easy Day

"Williams offers an intimate portrait not only of the warrior, but of the Afghan nation that so many have tried and failed to get their arms around." â€â€

Author Biography

Brian Glyn Williams, PhD, is a professor of Islamic history at the University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth. He has worked for the Central Intelligence Agency tracking suicide bombers in Afghanistan and is the author of Afghanistan Declassified: A Guide to America’s Longest War and The Crimean Tartars: The Diaspora Experience and the Forging of a Nation. He lives in Brighton, Massachusetts.