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  • Pakistan

  • A Personal History
  • By: Imran Khan
  • Narrated by: Amerjit Deu
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (60 ratings)

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Summary

Born only five years after Pakistan was created in 1947, Imran Khan has lived his country’s history. Undermined by a ruling elite hungry for money and power, Pakistan now stands alone as the only Islamic country with a nuclear bomb, yet it is unable to protect its people from the carnage of regular bombings from terrorists and its own ally, America. Now with the revelation that Pakistan has been the hiding place of Osama bin Laden for several years, that relationship can only grow more strained. How did it reach this flashpoint of instability and injustice with such potentially catastrophic results for Pakistan?

Recounting his country’s history through the prism of his own memories, Imran Khan starts from its foundation, ripped out of the dying British Raj. He guides us through and comments on subsequent historical developments which shook the Muslim world –the wars with India in 1965 and 1971, the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and America’s retribution 10 years later with the assassination of bin Laden – to the current controversial and intractable war in Afghanistan. We see these events viewed not only through the eyes of Westerners, but through those of ordinary Pakistanis.

Drawing on the experiences of his own family and his wide travels within his homeland, Pakistan: A Personal History provides a unique insider’s view of a country unfamiliar to a western audience. Woven into this history we see how Imran Khan’s personal life –his happy childhood in Lahore, his Oxford education, his extraordinary cricketing career, his marriage to Jemima Goldsmith, his mother’s influence and that of his Islamic faith – inform both the historical narrative and his current philanthropic and political activities. It is at once absorbing and insightful, casting fresh light upon a country whose culture he believes is largely misunderstood by the West.

©2011 Imran Khan (P)2011 Random House Audio Go

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Thought-provoking but not well produced

Listening to this prompted me to review my impression of Pakistan and put events, the majority of which I have lived through (I am about the same age as Imran Khan) in a new perspective. You can love it or hate it - certainly the author could not be accused of over-modesty - but it should make you think. What a pity, then, that despite the clearly worthy efforts of Amerit Deu the reading of the book is a real obstacle. Poor intonation, inappropriate pauses and punctuation cause a real barrier to understanding, let alone enjoyment. If this book is to have its full impact on western listeners, I think it would be worth taking the time to re-record it.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

a splendid book a very bad production

This book is definitely a must read for any one who has any interest in situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Imran provides a very interesting insight into the current situation and what are the reasons for this situation.

The choice of narrator is very poor. He totally fails to pronounce any of the words used from the local languages. I would have imagined the choice of narrator to be some one who has some background in the politics of sub continent so that he can pronounce the names properly. He murdered the names of people and places and the way he recited the verse of Iqbal it was hilarious.

I would suggest to re produce this audio book with either Imran reading himself, or a Pakistani narrating this book some one like Zia Mohyeddin.

4 people found this helpful

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A Pakistani to be proud of

I was intrigued by this title, because I had a very mixed up understanding of Pakistan.

There is no one better to give the history of Pakistan than Imran. It is a very personal history Imran reminisces fondly about his privileged upbringing in Pakistan and his higher education in Oxford.

He is a man straddling two Worlds and after experiencing a life in the West as a superstar cricketing legend he realised that “East West home is best”. This is a warts and all story so whilst Imran’s love of Pakistan it’s people and his faith is solid, he sees the flaws, fatal flaws in many instances, which drives so many Pakistanis abroad.

I would recommend this book to anyone confused about the various players in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I would also recommend it to anyone confused about Islam to the outsider one doesn’t know what Islam is because on the one extreme there are various fundamentalist groups at war with themselves as much as against the West or the spiritual saints of the Sufi tradition who seem above all worldly and political affairs.

Imran missed an opportunity to really press his case. If he had narrated the book himself it would have been so much better. The narrator whilst not being as bad as other reviewers have said did mispronounce some Islamic and Arabic terms and even messed up some English words.


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A very sorry narrative

How can you narrate a book without being competent in the pronunciation of the native language. Who authorised such a dismal attempt. I’m sure a better suitable candidate can redo this work.

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Informative

I have listened to a few books on Pakistan history this booked helped with my understanding. The narration could have been better it really is poor.

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Brilliant and to the point

Really well written. Pleasure to listen to the contents. Only downside was that the person narrating the book though south Asian did not pronounce words as they should be pronounced in Urdu so disappointing and annoying. On the whole contents great and easy to understand giving me a vivid picture of the happenings in Pakistan.

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  • SR
  • 21-12-20

Great writing,personal, sad and inspiring

Imran Khan nails it in every sense.
Despite his privileged background he is passionate about his country and its people.
His vivid descriptions of the so called liberal elite is hauntingly accurate.
His affinity for the true essence of Islam as a driver for social justice is apparent.

Although the book is a painful listen for anyone who truly cares about Pakistan and its people, the overall message is one of inspiration.

I have to say I thought it was let down by the reading. The reader being of South Asian extraction should have meant near perfect pronunciation of Urdu, Arabic words and names. What we got instead was a complete butchery that really, really grated. There wasn't a single word of Urdu that was treated with respect. The general delivery was wooden at times.

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Very informative

Great insight into the history and politics of Pakistan by Imran. For someone living outside of Pakistan and not having followed Pakistani politics closely because never gave me any confidence in the system, Imran has explained very well in simple terms.

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Loud and clear

Imran has just done a wonderful job yet again reflecting his dedication and hard working personality. He has very precisely and excellently described Islam in a nutshell. The way he has grasped issues of Pakistan, both internal and at international level shows how much he knows Pakistanis. A great read overall.

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amazing book by an Amazing Leader

wonderful factual account of history and issues faced by Pakistan for the past 72 years

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  • ok
  • 29-05-17

Imran Khan's life in Pakistan

This is not a history of Pakistan. Imran Khan takes you through his life and touches on various political issues. Exposes the CIA involvement in the leadership of Pakistan (which is hardly mentioned in the Western media)

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-08-22

The man, the legend - Imran Khan

Hearing the life stories of Imran Khan makes you understand his character, resilience and passion as a person and as a Pakistani. His understanding of history, modern world and where Pakistan stands currently and what it needs to do to help itself come out of it is unmatched and extremely well reasoned with facts. I wish him all the best in his pursuit of making Pakistan a better place

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  • Rev. David B. Smith
  • 06-05-17

A must-read!

A powerful analysis from a great man. This is a must-read for any interested in Pakistan and global security.