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Vassily Klimentov will be discussing his book, A Slow Reckoning: The USSR, the Afghan Communists, and Islam, published by Northern Illinois University Press / Cornell University Press. 

A Slow Reckoning examines the Soviet Union’s and the Afghan Communists’ views of and policies toward Islam and Islamism during the Soviet-Afghan War (1979–1989). As Klimentov demonstrates, the Soviet and Communist Afghan disregard for Islam was telling of the overall Communist approach to reforming Afghanistan and helps explain the failure of their modernization project. The book also discusses Soviet attitudes toward Islamism in the late 1980s as Arab foreign fighters joined the Mujahideen in fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. Drawing on his book’s findings, Vassily Klimentov will also explain how the Soviet experience in Afghanistan is important to understanding both the US failure in Afghanistan in the 2000s and conflicts involving Russia in the post-Soviet space.

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