Descent Into Chaos By Ahmed Rashid Is On Leonard Cohen’s Reading List

In a comment to Book Recommendation By Leonard Cohen: Consciousness Speaks: Conversations with Ramesh S. Balsekar, Klaus Offermann writes:

I will read anything Leonard Cohen recommended because I believe he was a very wise man and he was a very well read man.

A number of years ago I decided to study in depth, how the West got itself into such a mess in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and the Middle-East. I read and followed many authors, including the books and writings of Ahmed Rashid.

At the time (Oct. 8, 2012), I was stunned to come across Ahmed’s facebook post, indicating that Leonard Cohen had read Ahmed’s “Descent Into Chaos”, a deeply critical analysis of US foreign policy in the region.

From then on, Leonard Cohen songs such as “Almost Like the Blues”, sang to me singed with a sad reality, knowing that Leonard was so well informed about the detail of issues, when his lyrics appeared to explore them in a more universal fashion.

Descent into Chaos: The U.S. and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia Paperback by Ahmed Rashid

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (April 7, 2009)
  • Also available as e-book
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014311557X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143115571

The Leonard Cohen Reading List

Descent into Chaos is the latest entry to the Leonard Cohen Reading List, a compilation of books admired by the Canadian singer-songwriter.

All entries in the Leonard Cohen Reading List can be found at

The Original Leonard Cohen Reading List

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Nov 30, 2016.

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