John K.Cooley Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism ( Pluto, hardback, £20)

Whilst Cooley's well-researched run-down on United States' involvement in Afghanistan is useful as a source of information, its value as a radical critique is undermined by his acceptance of many of the terms of reference which ultimately serve to justify such involvement. Unholy Wars' central and almost exclusive point is that the US chose nasty allies in its wars against the Soviet Union and terrorism with consequent serious "blowback" effects. He has little criticism of the US policies and global role in and of themselves, and in an important sense takes them as givens. Nevertheless, Cooley's revelation of the real relationship between Islamic fundamentalism and US imperialism will surprise many, while criticism from within the establishment - Cooley is a distinguished and long-standing journalist with a major US television channel - is always nice to see.

The reviewer, Marjorie Tonge, is financial director of Spectre.