My new book: The Taliban Reader


My new book is out (finally). The Taliban Reader is somehow the culmination of years of work to drive studies of the Taliban back to primary sources. Some of this work was accidental; more recently it was more purposeful. The book I produced (together with Felix Kuehn) is long and detailed.

Comments and feedback prior to publication were extremely positive. It'll presumably take readers a while to start getting some real independent reviews in, but I look forward to feedback and whatever conversation is generated off the back of it all.

You can pick up a copy at any good bookshop or from Amazon here.

Music, Sound & Technology

Steven Johnson, the author of the fantastic book Where Good Ideas Come From, has been releasing podcasts episodes in advance of the publication of a new book. Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World seems to cover the relationship between innovation and 'play', ideas he has worked to explore in previous books. The podcast series offers a preview of these ideas, engagingly produced and narrated through a series of vignettes and smaller stories.

Episode 3 ("Strange Loops and Circuit Benders (Or, How New Music Comes from Broken Machines)") was an exploration of sound, how our sound universe has been changing alongside technological developments and cultural evolution. Johnson talks to Alex Ross (of The Rest is Noise fame) about how new sounds started to enter into the sonic vocabulary of musicians and creators. The other episodes are interesting, too. If you're interested in music and/or technology, you might want to check this one out.