First Draft Publishing’s catalogue includes original works and translated books by participant actors or by those who documented history as eyewitness observers.


First Draft Publishing Originals are full-length new works and reportage from contemporary authors who have an authoritative grasp of their subject.  These will often be new voices who are able to offer context and an understanding thoroughly based in fieldwork and time spent working off the beaten path.

The first Originals title will be Sayyed Mohammad Akbar Agha’s I Am Akbar Agha: Memories of the Afghan Jihad and the Taliban, which tells a story of war, friendship and political intrigue following the example set by Mullah Zaeef’s My Life With the Taliban. Akbar Agha's account is that of a participant, and Anand Gopal offers context in a foreword.




Primary are First Draft Publishing's translations of memoirs written by history's eyewitnesses. This collection will be of great interest to historians and policy makers alike, offering unmediated access to voices of participants and observers who so often form the basis of our understanding. We aim to bring these translations to a wider audience with editorial commentary, newly-commissioned introductions by authoritative experts and supplementary interview material.

Our first Primary title is Kandahar Assassins: Stories from the Afghan-Soviet War, telling the story of two well-known assassins who operated in the southern city during the 1980s war. Mohammad Tahir Aziz Gumnam was a doctor working in Pakistan at the time, allowing him access to a variety of figures within the Afghan mujahedeen. Dr David Kilcullen's introduction describes is as "a Thousand-and-One Nights of the Afghan jihad."



Singles are extended, magazine-length articles on subjects of current importance. As with all First Draft Publishing releases, authors are experts in their field, living in the areas about which they write. Our Singles releases will give a new outlet to deeply-researched and contextualised long-form journalism, offering space for new voices to emerge.

Our first Singles title will be Saba Imtiaz’s No Team of Angels: Murder, Violence, and Land in Pakistan’s Largest City: Karachi, which explores the reasons behind the violence in Karachi and provides a background of the different groups that seek to dominate the Pakistani port city. Saba Imtiaz reports from the streets of Karachi, telling the stories of those leading the feuding groups as well as those who suffer at their hands. No Team of Angels explores their motives and how the fight for land has left a weak government, a hapless police force and a puzzled judiciary wondering how to bring an end to the bloody conflict.



First Draft Publishing’s authors are either field researchers who have dedicated themselves to their subjects of study, or practitioners and activists who have shaped and participated in the events they describe.


First Draft Publishing includes a dedicated research unit. We conduct in-depth analysis based on primary sources and field research. Building on over half a decade of fieldwork in some of the world’s most challenging environments -- from southern Afghanistan to Somalia, Libya, Syria, Pakistan and Yemen -- FDP’s research unit has built up unique expertise in carrying out groundbreaking research in a wide variety of fields.


First Draft Publishing is an independent publishing house. We give researchers, professionals and the interested public access to primary and secondary sources. We introduce new voices and the next generation of leading authorities in their field, as well as accounts by individuals who have shaped events as participants themselves.