The outside world still understands Nepal imperfectly. The emergence of a violent Maoist insurgency there during the late
1990s met with bewilderment even among many of those who claimed to know the country well. Nepal's so-called "people's war"
was launched in 1996 by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in an attempt to overthrow the political establishment, including
the monarchy, and establish a Maoist regime. This work covers its historical depth and socio-cultural background. Using brutal
tactics similar to those of Peru's Shining Path in the 1980s, guerrillas have murdered many civil servants and supporters
of the government and other political parties. Initially, the rebels numbered a few hundred, mainly poor peasants, former
soldiers and unemployed youths, drawn to the movement by Nepal's poverty and disenchantment with its corrupt politicians,
but have since grown to more than 25,000, with training camps in the remote rhododendron forests of western Nepal.