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Paddy Docherty's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Paddy Docherty recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Paddy Docherty's favorite book recommendations of all time.


The Languages of the World

This third edition of Kenneth Katzner's best-selling guide to languages is essential reading for language enthusiasts everywhere. Written with the non-specialist in mind, its user-friendly style and layout, delightful original passages, and exotic scripts, will continue to fascinate the reader. This new edition has been thoroughly revised to include more languages, more countries, and up-to-date data on populations.
Features include:
*information on nearly 600 languages
*individual descriptions of 200 languages, with sample passages and English translations
*concise notes...
Recommended by Paddy Docherty, and 1 others.

Paddy DochertyActually I wouldn’t say that it’s daunting because it’s a one-volume reference work set out in a very user-friendly way. Outside of a heavy volume of linguistics, it is the best way of understanding the connections between different languages. It might seem a slightly odd book to include, but the reason I did so is because it was incredibly useful when I was trying to understand the movement of... (Source)

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Genghis Khan is one of history's immortals, alive in memory as a scourge, hero, military genius and demi-god. To Muslims, Russians and westerners, he is a murderer of millions, a brutal oppressor. Yet in his homeland of Mongolia he is the revered father of the nation, and the Chinese honor him as the founder of a dynasty. In his so-called Mausoleum in Inner Mongolia, worshippers seek the blessing of his spirit. In a supreme paradox, the world's most ruthless conqueror has become a force for peace and reconciliation.

As a teenager, Genghis was a fugitive, hiding from enemies on a...
Recommended by Paddy Docherty, and 1 others.

Paddy DochertyIt’s a gripping read…Khan’s father was murdered when he was very young and he was cast out on to the steppes of Mongolia with his mother and two siblings. (Source)

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After September 11th, Ahmed Rashid's crucial book "Taliban" introduced American readers to that now notorious regime. In this new work, he returns to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia to review the catastrophic aftermath of America's failed war on terror. Called "Pakistan's best and bravest reporter" by Christopher Hitchens, Rashid has shown himself to be a voice of reason amid the chaos of present-day Central Asia. "Descent Into Chaos" is his blistering critique of American policy-a dire warning and an impassioned call to correct these disasterous strategies before these failing states... more

Thomas BarfieldHis book about the Taliban came to prominence after 9/11. What Rashid manages to do is to show that this is a transnational problem. (Source)

Paddy DochertyBecause it is the authoritative account of the current situation in the region. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to understand what’s going on in Pakistan and Afghanistan. (Source)

Gretchen PetersThis is a thorough analysis of how Western policy towards the region has made things worse since 2001. It is pretty bleak. Rashid joked to me while he was writing it that the working title was, What A Fucking Mess. (Source)

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Does for the British military what Jarhead did for the US. Leo Docherty was a serving British soldier on the ground in
Afghanistan up until his explosive article in the Sunday Times in 2006. This book is set to be a timebomb under the British military presence in Afghanistan, criticising tactics, strategy, implementation, equipment and the wisdom behind the operation.

Embargoed until publication. Please keep this book TOP SECRET until the...
Recommended by Paddy Docherty, and 1 others.

Paddy DochertyWell, what this book does is give a very compelling view of life on the ground as a soldier in Afghanistan. Leo doesn’t try to look at high-level strategies – he is basically telling his own story. But the disillusionment he felt is one of the main things that comes across in the course of the book. He became increasingly dissatisfied about the way the war was being conducted. (Source)

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The story of a brotherhood of young men who together laid claim to the most notorious frontier in the world, the North-West Frontier, which today forms the volatile boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Known collectively as Henry Lawrence's young men, each had distinguished himself in the East India Company's wars in the Punjab before going on to make his name as a political on the Frontier - Herbert Edwardes, who pacified Bannu; John Nicholson, a forebear of the author, who became the terror of the Sikhs as Nikkal Seyn; Uncle James Abbot of Hazara, and many others. less
Recommended by Paddy Docherty, and 1 others.

Paddy DochertyIt takes a very interesting angle on the big stories of war and diplomacy. It is told very much from the point of view of the officers on the ground, rather than the rarefied level of foreign ministries and Whitehall. And the civilians were always quite unusual. As you can imagine, it takes quite a character to leave the comforts of Britain and live a fairly rough existence in the middle of the... (Source)

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