This book is about the lives of three great men from Afghanistan's past. It is also about the stories Afghan people tell one another about the past—stories in which men of quality are tested and, by dint of their single-mindedness, their courage, and their capacity demonstrate the qualities of person and action by which greatness is achieved. The three men are a tribal khan, a Muslim saint, and a royal prince who became Afghanistan's king. Throughout the book, the discussion deals with the articulation of moral authority in Afghan society and the contradictions which different moral systems pose to one another and to themselves. The book also aims to shed light on the sources of contemporary civil strife in Afghanistan.
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