"Edward Girardet has a unique story to tell. . . . He has been a consistent and keen observer of political events. He has come to know all the major characters. . . . His is a very personal tale as well as being one of great historical importance."
—Ahmed Rashid, author of Taliban, Jihad, and Descent into Chaos
"Drawing on more than three decades of personal travels to Afghanistan, Edward Girardet offers a ruminating set of reflections on the history of the region and its diverse groups. He captures the dynamism, the pride, and the potential of the people living in Afghanistan. He also examines the limitations of military interventions and the possibilities for policies more deeply connected to rural communities. Girardet's book is a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of contemporary Afghanistan."
—Jeremi Suri, author of Libertys Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from Washington to Obama
"Girardet's Killing the Cranes makes gripping reading."
—Roy Gutman, Foreign Policy
"...[Killing the Cranes] contains some of the best descriptions of Afghan people and events that I have read..."
—Anatol Lieven, The New York Review of Books
"The big-picture view of Afghanistan that exposes the ignorance and blundering that led to today's mess."
—Nick Mills, The Huffington Post
"Girardet is the most fair and accurate armchair guide a Westerner can consult. To ignore his accumulated wisdom is intellectually wasteful."
—Steve Weinberg, Christian Science Monitor
"Edward Girardet's knowledge of Afghanistan, both its many problems and its many attractions, is profound. He writes with great authority and grace, and his love for the country comes through on every page of this fascinating, important, and thoughtful book."
—Peter Bergen, author of The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda
"Part travelogue, part memoir, part political analysis, Girardet has produced a fine work of reportage. . . . Killing the Cranes provides unparalleled insights into the immense challenges presented by the war in Afghanistan, and the reasons, he predicts, for a denouement that is likely to resemble those of other failed engagements by foreign powers."
—Mark Schapiro, author of Exposed and senior correspondent, Center for Investigative Reporting
"Ed Girardet has accumulated more experience in Afghanistan than almost anyone else in the press corps, and the result is a truly remarkable book about a completely misunderstood country. Killing the Cranes may well be the most gripping and thorough account ever written about our numerous missteps and lost opportunities—it reads like a great novel but informs like the best kind of magazine journalism. Both his writing and reporting are absolutely superb."
—Sebastian Junger, author of War
"Edward Girardet puts all of his thirty years' experience to use in this vivid, enlightening, humane, yet alarming book. Few other observers have had the determination to cover Afghan events from before the Soviet invasion to the preparations for American withdrawal. Girardet describes that whole saga, points out why and whether things could have gone differently, and explains the realistic prospects ahead. This is a life's-work testimony in the best sense."
—James Fallows, author of Blind into Baghdad and Postcards from Tomorrow Square