Established as a homeland for India's Muslims in 1947, Pakistan has had a tumultuous history. Beset by assassinations, coups, ethnic strife, and the breakaway of Bangladesh in 1971, the country has found itself too often contending with religious extremism and military authoritarianism. Now, in a probing biography of her native land amid the throes of global change, Ayesha Jalal provides an insider's assessment of how this nuclear-armed Muslim nation evolved as it did and explains why its dilemmas weigh so heavily on prospects for peace in the region.
"[An] important book...Ayesha Jalal has been one of the first and most reliable [Pakistani] political historians [on Pakistan]...The Struggle for Pakistan [is] her most accessible work to date...She is especially telling when she points to the lack of serious academic or political debate in Pakistan about the role of the military."
--Ahmed Rashid, New York Review of Books
"[Jalal] shows that Pakistan never went off the rails; it was, moreover, never a democracy in any meaningful sense. For its entire history, a military caste and its supporters in the ruling class have formed an 'establishment' that defined their narrow interests as the nation's."
--Isaac Chotiner, Wall Street Journal