Our First Publication: "I Am Akbar Agha", Memoir of a Taliban Insider

I_am_Akbar_Agha-cover Very happy to announce the publication of First Draft Publishing's inaugural book, I Am Akbar Agha. Felix and I have been working on this initiative for a while, and it's nice to have it see the light of day.

Akbar Agha's book is the latest in an (increasingly) long line of memoirs by individuals associated with the (Afghan) Taliban. So far we have insider accounts from Zaeef, Mutawakil, Mujhda, Mustas'ad, Abu al-Walid al-Masri and rumours of works being written by figures like Mawlawi Qalamuddin and others.

As for what's in the book, I'll refer you to the blurb on the back:

Following in the tradition of Mullah Zaeef’s My Life With the Taliban, Akbar Agha’s memoir tells a story of war, friendship and political intrigue. Starting in 1980s Kandahar, the difficulties and successes of the mujahedeen come through clearly as Akbar Agha struggles to administer a group of fighters. He details the different groups fighting in Kandahar, their cooperation and the scale of the Soviet Union’s efforts to crush them. Not directly a participant in the Taliban government that ruled post-1994, Akbar Agha offers a sometimes-critical account of the administration built by many of his former fighters. After the fall of the Islamic Emirate in 2001, Akbar Agha was involved in the Jaish ul-Muslimeen opposition group and for the first time he has revealed his account of what happened in the kidnapping of UN aid workers. I Am Akbar Agha ends with an analysis of the problems afflicting Afghanistan and outlines a vision for the political future of the country post-elections and post-2015. Anand Gopal has written an introduction to the book.


If you're interested in Afghanistan and want to delve a little deeper into the Taliban's (pre-)history, you'll enjoy this book. Lots of new material.

We also published an exclusive interview with Akbar Agha over on our blog.

Anand Gopal has written a great foreword to introduce and contextualise the book. If you're interested in learning more about the book but don't know whether to commit to buying it, I'd recommend downloading the free preview/sample of the text via iBooks or the Amazon Kindle Store where you can read the full text of Anand's foreword.

If you end up reading it, please leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads as a way of supporting our publishing initiative to get more of these primary source texts translated and made available to a wider audience.

Buy a paperback or electronic copy here: LINK

Find out more about First Draft Publishing here: LINK