Since 9/II, the American appetite for information on Afghanistan has surged. The bulk of this information has come from the media, Afghan Scholars or from the Afghans themselves. For the first time, the story of Afghanistan prior to, and during, the communist coup of 1979 is told from the perspective of an American working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Afghanistan. The story begins with Peace Corps recruitment and training in the United States, then follows a group of young men and women to Afghanistan where they must learn to adapt to exotic food, mysterious customs and primitive hygiene. Then, as they begin to assimilate and feel confortable in their harsh suroundings, a military coup leads to the arrest of the author, who is accused of being an American spy and beaten in an effort to make him reveal secrets he doesn't have. Eventually, the author is extricated from prison as a new communist regime solidifies its hold on Afghanistan after centuries of Islamic dominance. Thus the chain of events leading to 9/II is set in motion. Only a handful of foreigners lived in Afghanistan when destabilization began in the late seventies and, of this handful, none has attempted to document the counry's transition from its centuries-old status-quo to a factory for global insurgency. No other book about Afghanistan offers such a humane, sometimes humorous, and significant insight into a culture on the verge of single-handedly launching a new age of terrorism.