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Schinasi, May

Kaboul 1773-1948: Naissance et croissance d’une capitale royale. Università degli studi di Napoli L’Orientale, Series Maior XIII, Naples 2008, 259 p., 7 Annexes, Bibliographie, Index, 37 pl. n&b, VII pl. couleurs, 11 figs.

Compte-rendu réalisé par Marcus Schadl

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1M. Schinasi explores the history of the capital city of Afghanistan, starting with the transfer of the residence of the Durrani Shahs from Kandahar to Kabul in 1773, and ending with the large-scale demolition of the historic quarters as part of an urban renewal programme in the mid-20th century. Using narrative sources, graphical and early photographical material, as well as the existing urban fabric and monuments, in six chapters she gives a coherent picture of the city and the changes it underwent over nearly two centuries. Chapter One introduces Kabul in the Mughal period. Chapter 2 looks at the city at the eve of Westernisation, outlining the city’s development, and its social and spatial organization, from 1773 to 1879 (the second British occupation). Chapters 3 to 5 are concerned with the developments under the amirs Abdur Rahman (1880-1901), Habibullah (1901-19), and Amanullah (1919-29). The sixth and last chapter concludes the study with an examination of the modern urbanism that emerged between 1930 and 1948.

2Schinasi’s book is the first coherent monograph on the historic city of Kabul, in which well-researched and comprehensive information (including the extensive use of local source material, such as Afghan documents, periodicals, and history works), is presented in a remarkably intelligent and systematic form. Though most of the material presented may be familiar to specialists in the field, there are several sensational findings, such as the rediscovery of the master plan by the French architect Godard, drawn for the Western-style city of Darulaman, which was to (but never did) replace Kabul as the capital in the 1920s.

3A detailed review published in St. Ir. 39/2, 2010.

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Marcus Schadl. Schinasi, May, « Kaboul 1773-1948: Naissance et croissance d’une capitale royale. Università degli studi di Napoli L’Orientale, Series Maior XIII, Naples 2008, 259 p., 7 Annexes, Bibliographie, Index, 37 pl. n&b, VII pl. couleurs, 11 figs. », Abstracta Iranica [En ligne], Volume 31 | 2011, document 184, mis en ligne le 11 octobre 2012, consulté le 13 décembre 2017. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/abstractairanica/39608

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