• Home
  • Books
  • Upcoming Biden book excerpt unveils vivid portrayal of U.S withdrawal from Afghanistan

Upcoming Biden book excerpt unveils vivid portrayal of U.S withdrawal from Afghanistan

An excerpt of Franklin Foer’s upcoming book “The Last Politician: Inside Joe Biden’s White House and the Struggle for America’s Future” was released Tuesday via The Atlantic. The book is expected to give a first glimpse into the story of the first two years of the Biden administration.

The excerpt takes a dive into the leadup to U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, vividly recounting the chaos both at home and overseas as never seen before.

“It would be an ending, but not the end,” Foer recalled, regarding the State Department’s expectations for the withdrawal. “Even after August 31, the embassy in Kabul would remain open. It wouldn’t be as robustly staffed, but some aid programs would continue; visas would still be issued. The United States — at least not the State Department — wasn’t going to abandon the country.”

“There were plans for catastrophic scenarios, which had been practiced in tabletop simulations, but no one anticipated that they would be needed.”

And unfortunately, catastrophe is exactly what happened — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, much to Biden’s frustration, and what the U.S. had expected to be a peaceful transfer of power to the Taliban became a disastrous takeover and messily-handled exodus from the country, as the U.S. pulled troops out and attempted to airlift hundreds of thousands of Afghans.

Foer recounts the moment of former ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass arriving in the embattled country to “the smell of feces and urine, by the sound of gunshots and bullhorns blaring instructions in Dari and Pashto… He felt the heat that emanated from human bodies crowded into narrow spaces.”

Despite everything, from the situation on the ground to blistering press and dropping poll numbers, Foer wrote that Biden remained certain of his decision.

“Everything he’d witnessed… confirmed his belief that exiting a war without hope was the best and only course,” writes Foer. “So much of the commentary felt overheated to him. He said to an aide: ‘Either the press is losing its mind, or I am.’”

“The Last Politician” releases Sept. 5 from Penguin Random House, and is available for preorder on Amazon.

(Image courtesy of Penguin Press)


Join Our Mailing List

Recent Articles

Powell’s Books workers to strike on Labor Day

The union representing employees of Portland-based Powell’s Books stated it will stage a one-day strike on Labor Day, following months of contract negotiations for better pay and healthcare.

Empowering queer voices: Michelle Tea launches ‘Dopamine’

Diving headfirst into the realm of authentic representation, Michelle Tea’s groundbreaking endeavor ‘Dopamine’ promises to amplify and celebrate queer narratives that have long been overshadowed, redefining the landscape of literary storytelling.

Hey! Are you enjoying NYCTastemakers? Make sure to join our mailing list for NYCTM and never miss the chance to read all of our articles!