Mr. Jalallar's autobiography gives us a unique insight into Afghanistan's sociopolitical situation and the changes it went through over the last half century, particularly during the last thirty or so years. Having served his country under three different regimes, his view is unique in that he not only witnessed the changes that swept the country during that time but his accounts help us see those changes from an entirely different perspective. With the current turmoil plaguing the country and the pictures we see in the media the autobiography is a breath of fresh air that takes us back to a time when the country's leaders were forward thinking, and focused on the country's advancement into modernity rather than holding on to backwardness. He sheds light on how his country, being poor and destitute, struggled toward modernization by seeking financial aide from the West on one side and from the USSR on the other. It is a fascinating account that shows how the country's fragile socioeconomic and political situation on the one hand and its geographic location, being a neighbor to the USSR, on the other put the country in a compromising position. It is an eye opening account of how the country's leadership struggled toward modernization and yet was unable to balance their relationship to the dichotomy of push and pull by the West from the one side and the USSR from the other. The account also sheds light on how the USSR took advantage of this fragility and invaded the country, leaving behind decades of war, destruction, and upheaval that is still yet to settle. In short Mr. Jalallar's autobiography is a fascinating account of his life experiences as a public servant to a country during a time when it was looking forward to modernization and development. By reading the account one gets a sense that the leadership may have tried too hard too fast to bring on those changes leading to some not too smart decisions that instead led the country toward destruction rather than the intended development. In any event, the reader will find the work and the person as extraordinary simply because while the country was going through changes that were of enormous proportions, it chose to at least keep one pillar in place. That pillar was Mr. Jalallar in his leadership position as the country's economic face to the world.