Media Center: ‘Kingdom of Their Own’ by Joshua Partlow

Media Center: ‘Kingdom of Their Own’ by Joshua Partlow

WHO: Joshua Partlow

The Family Karzai and the Afghan Disaster

WHEN: Published by Knopf September 23, 2016

WHERE: The author is Mexico bureau chief for the Washington Post.

“An excellent account of a vastly difficult topic.

“A veteran foreign correspondent explores America’s entanglement with Afghanistan, our country’s longest war, through the lens of the Karzai family, which wielded power from the 2001 ousting of the Taliban until 2014.
“That time span encompasses a period of hope, a tempering of expectations, and a near-total breakdown in President Hamid Karzai’s relations with the United States. Partlow, an astute and thoughtful reporter, shows how the U.S. eventually came to view Karzai as hapless — or tacitly complicit — in the face of widespread corruption.
“The book, however, offers a more nuanced perspective on what went wrong. It focuses mostly on Hamid Karzai, but also profiles his brothers, notably Ahmed Wali Karzai, assassinated in 2011 after years of speculation that he was a narcotics kingpin. Partlow also devotes much space to U.S. failures in battling corruption in Afghanistan, showing how the policy of rotating military personnel through on short tours made it difficult for American service members to familiarize themselves with the country.
“American military and political arrogance butts up against deep-rooted cultural customs and family networks throughout this excellent account of a vastly difficult topic.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, a starred review

“First-hand reportage that takes us as close to the action as we’ve ever been.” —Dan Kaplan, BOOKLIST

“Partlow’s character portraits are masterful, often based on firsthand observations and relying on small but crucial personal details to convincingly render these complex, multifaceted men. The author’s reporting often leads to revealing tangents, including a deep dive into a decades-old blood feud between two branches of the Karzai family that gives Western readers a window into the role that honor and revenge still play in Afghan society.” —KIRKUS REVIEWS

“A valuable account…an important contribution to any well-rounded collection on contemporary Middle Eastern politics and society.”

Author photo

Media Resources:
About the book and author | Read an excerpt | Download the jacket | Download the author photo

Knopf. 422 pages. $30 ISBN 978-0-307-96264-5

Publicist for this title:
Katie Schoder | 212-572-2103 |