Afghanistan: Crossroads and Kingdoms — My 1970s Peace Corps Service and Recent Afghan History
by Guy Toby Marion (Afghanistan 1971-75)
Peace Corps Books
$21.95 (Paperback); $8.95 (Kindle)
In 1971, at age 22, Guy Toby Marion joined the Peace Corps. He was tasked with training high school science teachers in rural Afghanistan, and later with teaching in the Faculty of Engineering in Kabul.
In text rich with description and detail, Toby relates his experiences living among a Farsi-speaking Muslim people, learning their language, their culture, their literature, their food.
At the time Afghanistan was desperately poor, characterized by an ancient Islamic culture, a Pashtun monarchy and Farsi-speaking minorities descended from ancient Central Asian empires. The people readily accepted and welcomed American support. However, at this time towards the end of the Cold War, a revolution under the influence of the USSR was at hand.
Toby’s meticulous research into the historical background of Afghanistan’s chaotic past will help the reader understand why this time period was the beginning of fifty years of strife and tragedy, culminating with America’s unsuccessful efforts at nation building.
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Guy Toby Marion grew up in Southern California and Suburban New York. He has a BS from Cornell, MS from MIT and Graduate Diploma in BA from Sydney University.
In the Peace Corps, Toby served three years in Afghanistan . . . two school years in Kapisa Province teaching high school teachers and three semesters in the faculty of engineering at Kabul University.
After Peace Corps he joined a multinational oil company and worked in NY, Bahrain, Australia, Dallas, Tokyo, Bangkok, Hong Kong and China for nearly 25 years. After that he headed two consulting companies in Hong Kong and then started a wine distributorship importing American wines.
He is married to a British wife whom he met in Bahrain, and they have two children and four grandchildren and live in Tiburon, CA. Toby plays tennis and sails and enjoys being close to his grandchildren. He can be contacted at: tobymarion.kabul@gmail.
This is his first book.