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Reviews of Kabul Under Siege: Fayz Muhammad’s Account of the 1929 Uprising

“[R. D.] McChesney has provided a useful and readable translation of Fayz Muhammad’s Kitab-i Tazakkur-i Inqqilab (Memoirs of the Revolution), one of the only accounts of the Saqqaoist regime in Afghanistan to be written by an eyewitness observer of the events that took place in Kabul in 1929 … He has scattered helpful commentaries and maps throughout Kabul Under Siege and included glossary for those unfamiliar with various Persian and Pashto terms … an excellent and useful translation.” — Harvard Middle East and Islamic Review

“This journal-based memoir, written by partisan anti-Tajik historian Fayz Muhammad … is the first-hand participant-observer account of civil unrest during the nine-month rule of Habib Allah Kalakani … McChesney clarifies … these events [masterfully], detailing Afghanistan’s sociopolitical history and Fayz Muhammad’s writings. The memoir documents Tajik military assaults on Kabul, political consolidation, resistance movements, Tajik-Hazarah fighting, and executions. Depicted starkly are complex, tumultuous ethnic-religious and internecine politics, gender violence, plundering, property confiscation, assassination plots, atrocities, and coalescing tribal opposition to Habib. The memoir ends abruptly on [August 28], but McChesney competently updates the uprising through Habib’s capture and execution on [November 1,] 1929.” — Religious Studies Review