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Synopsis

In Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan, acclaimed author and journalist M. J. Akbar traces the search for a “Muslim space” that began in the eighteenth century, and the events, people, circumstances, and mind-set that culminated in a fractured India in 1947. But why is Pakistan in danger of becoming a “jelly state,” a country that constantly quivers on the edge of instability? Akbar investigates contradictions in the nation’s modern leadership, from Jinnah’s secular ideals to the theocrats’ clear stance on creating a “sanctuary of Islam.” He also offers an intimate appraisal of the young nation’s future—including the global implications of nuclear armament and the harboring of terrorists like Osama bin Laden.

Tinderbox, a riveting and expansive biography of a nation, fills a crucial void in our understanding—even as the region’s conflicts grow to affect the entire world.

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