• The Dark Defile: Britain's Catastrophic Invasion of Afghanistan, 1838-1842 See large image

    The Dark Defile: Britain's Catastrophic Invasion of Afghanistan, 1838-1842 (Hardback) By (author) Diana Preston

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    DescriptionConvinced in 1838 that Britain's invaluable empire in India was threatened by Russia, Persia, and Afghan tribes, the British government ordered its Army of the Indus into Afghanistan to oust from power the independent-minded king, Dost Mohammed, and install in Kabul the unpopular puppet ruler Shah Shuja. Expecting a quick campaign, the British found themselves trapped by unforeseen circumstances; eventually the tribes united and the seemingly omnipotent army was slaughtered in 1842 as it desperately retreated through the mountain passes from Kabul to Jalalabad. Only one Briton survived uncaptured. Diana Preston vividly recounts the drama of this First Afghan War, one of the opening salvos in the strategic rivalry between Britain and Russia for supremacy in Central Asia. As insightful about geography as she is about political and military miscalculation, Preston draws on rarely documented letters and diaries to bring alive long-lost characters-Lord Auckland, the weak British governor-general in India; his impetuous aide William Macnaghten; and the prescient adventurer-envoy Alexander Burnes, whose sage advice was steadfastly ignored. A model of compelling narrative history, "The Dark Defile" is a fascinating exploration of nineteenth-century geopolitics, and a cautionary tale that resonates loudly today.

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    The Dark Defile
    Britain's Catastrophic Invasion of Afghanistan, 1838-1842
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Diana Preston
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 307
    Width: 165 mm
    Height: 244 mm
    Thickness: 33 mm
    Weight: 204 g
    ISBN 13: 9780802779823
    ISBN 10: 0802779824

    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.4
    BIC E4L: WAR
    BIC subject category V2: HBJD1
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: ET030
    Ingram Theme: CULT/BRITIS
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1DBK
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: HBJF
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1FC
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 43, 01
    BIC subject category V2: HBW
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15590
    BISAC V2.8: HIS015000
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/ERLY18
    B&T General Subject: 520
    Ingram Subject Code: HM
    Libri: I-HM
    Ingram Theme: CULT/ASIAN
    B&T Approval Code: A44093000
    BISAC V2.8: HIS050000, HIS027130
    B&T Approval Code: A15400300
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 54
    DC21: 958.103
    DC22: 958.103, 958.1/03
    LC subject heading: ,
    LC classification: DS363 .P74 2012
    LC subject heading: , ,
    BISAC region code:
    LC subject heading:
    Thema V1.0: NHW, NHD, NHF
    Thema geographical qualifier V1.0: 1DDU, 1FC
    Illustrations note
    black & white illustrations, maps
    Walker & Company
    Imprint name
    Walker & Company
    Publication date
    14 February 2012
    Publication City/Country
    New York, NY
    Author Information
    Diana Preston is an Oxford-trained historian and the author of the acclaimed "A First Rate Tragedy," "The Boxer Rebellion," "Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy," "Cleopatra and Antony," and "Before the Fallout: From Marie Curie to Hiroshima," which won the 2006 "Los Angeles Times "Book Prize for Science and Technology. With her husband, Michael, she has coauthored "A Pirate of Exquisite Mind" and "Taj Mahal." She lives in London, England.