Federal Research Division
Library of Congress

Edited by
Peter R. Blood

Research Completed 1997

The material on Afghanistan that follows represents preliminary drafts ofthree chapters of the unpublished volume on Afghanistan in the Federal ResearchDivision's Area Handbook/Country Studies Series. This volume was one of severalbooks in the process of research and writing when funding for the Series waseliminated in 1998. Had it been published, the book would have superceded Afghanistan:A Country Study, fifth edition (1986).

Chapter 1, Historical Setting, completed in 1995 by Craig Baxter, provides anhistorical overview of Afghanistan from the Pre-Islamic period through theperiod of Soviet intervention in the country, which ended in February 1989.Chapter 2, The Society and Its Environment, completed in 1997 by Nancy HatchDupree and Thomas E. Gouttierre, describes the Afghan natural and socialenvironment, and includes, among other subjects, discussion of ethnic groups,religion, education, health, and the country's refugee problem. Chapter 4:Government and Politics, written by Richard S. Newell in 1997, providesadditional historical background and analyzes the development of the Talibanregime and opposition to it.

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