The history of Afghanistan is a story of contradictions—from growth and stability to invasions, civil wars, and devastation. This article contrasts Afghanistan’s “Golden Age,” the period between 1963 and 1973, with the state of the country in the years that followed—a period that was the most destructive and tragic in the nation’s history. Gain insight into the events that brought about Afghanistan’s spiral downward, and learn about Afghanistan today—a nation attempting to rebuild.