Afghanistan and the U.S. , 1945-1963: Records of the U.S. State Department Classified Files

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Afghanistan's history, internal political development, foreign relations and very existence as an independent state have largely been determined by its location at the crossroads of Central, West and South Asia. From antiquity to modern times, vast armies of the world passed through Afghanistan, temporarily establishing local control and often dominating Iran and northern India.

Although it was the scene of great empires and flourishing trade for more than 2,000 years, Afghanistan did not become a truly independent nation until the 20th century - and for much of that century it remained neutral. Afghanistan did not participate in World War II, for instance, nor did it align with either power bloc during the Cold War. However, the country was a beneficiary of the Cold War rivalry as both the Soviet Union and the United States vied for influence by building such infrastructure works as roads, airports, water and sewer systems and hospitals.

The archival documents found in Afghanistan and the U.S., 1945-1963: Records of the U.S. State Department Classified Files are drawn from the U.S. State Department Central Classified Files. These files are the definitive source of American diplomatic reporting on worldwide political, military, social and economic developments in the 20th century.

For this collection, Gale compiled thousands of pages, arranged topically and chronologically, on crucial subjects such as political parties and elections, unrest and revolution, human rights, government, labor, housing, public health, religion, industry and much more.

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Archives Unbound Series

Introducing Archives Unbound -- a vast new resource that combines the best of legacy microfilms from Gale and Primary Source Media and new, never-before-filmed collections. Specifically developed to address the needs of individual scholars, universities, and organizations, Archives Unbound is unique not only for its expansive, multi-disciplinary content but also for the distinct new intuitive search platform by which it is accessed.

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Features and Benefits

  • This collection of State Department files relating to internal and foreign affairs contain a wide range of materials from U.S. diplomats.
  • Search functionality includes intuitive searches that yield organized results and highlighted keywords to facilitate research.
  • Also features full texts of important messages sent and received by U.S. diplomatic personnel, voluminous reports and translations from foreign journals and newspapers, countless translations of high-level foreign government documents.


"The content of Archives Unbound makes it an excellent resource for students doing research in political science, history, or ethnic studies, as well as multidisciplinary research. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers." --Choice, March 2011 

— Choice

"...provides a platform for various historical document archives, making them more accessible to scholars. The content is unquestionably important" --Booklist, May 2010

— Deborah Rollins