“An unforgettable tale.” — National Geographic In The Places in Between Rory Stewart walked some of the most dangerous borderlands in the world. Now he travels with his eighty-nine-year-old father—a comical, wily, courageous, and infuriating former British intelligence officer—along the border they call home. On Stewart’s four-hundred-mile walk across a magnificent natural landscape, he sleeps on mountain ridges and in housing projects, in hostels and farmhouses. With every fresh encounter—from an Afghanistan veteran based on Hadrian’s Wall to a shepherd who still counts his flock in sixth-century words—Stewart uncovers more about the forgotten peoples and languages of a vanished country, now crushed between England and Scotland. Stewart and his father are drawn into unsettling reflections on landscape, their parallel careers in the bygone British Empire and Iraq, and the past, present, and uncertain future of the United Kingdom. And as the end approaches, the elder Stewart’s stubborn charm transforms this chronicle of nations into a fierce, exuberant encounter between a father and a son. This is a profound reflection on family, landscape, and history by a powerful and original writer. “The miracle of The Marches is not so much the treks Stewart describes, pulling in all possible relevant history, as the monument that emerges to his beloved father.” — New York Times Book Review
From a member of Parliament and best-selling author of The Places in Between, an exploration of the Marches--the borderland between England and Scotland--and the political turmoil and vivid lives that created it
Author: Rory Stewart
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Release Date: 2016-09-20
From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Places in Between, an exploration of the landscape of his home on the borderland between England and Scotland - known as the Marches -- and the history, people, and conflicts that shape it
In January 2002 Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan-surviving by his wits, his knowledge of Persian dialects and Muslim customs, and the kindness of strangers. By day he passed through mountains covered in nine feet of snow, hamlets burned and emptied by the Taliban, and communities thriving amid the remains of medieval civilizations. By night he slept on villagers' floors, shared their meals, and listened to their stories of the recent and ancient past. Along the way Stewart met heroes and rogues, tribal elders and teenage soldiers, Taliban commanders and foreign-aid workers. He was also adopted by an unexpected companion-a retired fighting mastiff he named Babur in honor of Afghanistan's first Mughal emperor, in whose footsteps the pair was following. Through these encounters-by turns touching, con-founding, surprising, and funny-Stewart makes tangible the forces of tradition, ideology, and allegiance that shape life in the map's countless places in between.
An adventurous diplomat’s “engrossing and often darkly humorous” memoir of working with Iraqis after the fall of Saddam Hussein(Publishers Weekly). In August 2003, at the age of thirty, Rory Stewart took a taxi from Jordan to Baghdad. A Farsi-speaking British diplomat who had recently completed an epic walk from Turkey to Bangladesh, he was soon appointed deputy governor of Amarah and then Nasiriyah, provinces in the remote, impoverished marsh regions of southern Iraq. He spent the next eleven months negotiating hostage releases, holding elections, and splicing together some semblance of an infrastructure for a population of millions teetering on the brink of civil war. The Prince of the Marshes tells the story of Stewart’s year. As a participant he takes us inside the occupation and beyond the Green Zone, introducing us to a colorful cast of Iraqis and revealing the complexity and fragility of a society we struggle to understand. By turns funny and harrowing, moving and incisive, it amounts to a unique portrait of heroism and the tragedy that intervention inevitably courts in the modern age.
Author: Graham Robb
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2018-06-12
Best-selling author Graham Robb finds that the 2,000-year-old map of Ptolemy unlocks a central mystery of British history. Two years ago, Graham Robb moved to a lonely house on the very edge of England, near the banks of a river that once marked the southern boundary of the legendary Debatable Land. The oldest detectable territorial division in Great Britain, the Debatable Land served as a buffer between Scotland and England. It was once the bloodiest region in the country, fought over by Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and James V. After most of its population was slaughtered or deported, it became the last part of Great Britain to be brought under the control of the state. Today, it has vanished from the map and its boundaries are matters of myth and generational memories. Under the spell of a powerful curiosity, Robb began a journey—on foot, by bicycle, and into the past—that would uncover lost towns and roads, and unlock more than one discovery of major historical significance. These personal and scholarly adventures reveal a tale that spans Roman, Medieval, and present-day Britain. Rich in detail and epic in scope, The Debatable Land takes us from a time when neither England nor Scotland existed to the present day, when contemporary nationalism and political turmoil threaten to unsettle the cross-border community once more. With his customary charm, wit, and literary grace, Graham Robb proves the Debatable Land to be a crucial, missing piece in the puzzle of British history.
Author: Stephen Brown
Publisher: Oberon Books
Release Date: 2017-04-28
‘It’s democracy. Everyone is equally unhappy. It’s the defining feature of the system’ September 2003. Rory Stewart, a thirty year old former British diplomat, is posted to serve as governor in a province of the newly liberated Iraq. His job is to help build a society at peace with itself and its neighbours – an ambitious mission, admittedly, but outperforming Saddam should surely not prove too difficult... Stephen Brown’s new play, based on Rory Stewart’s critically acclaimed memoir Occupational Hazards, tells an extraordinary story about the moral conflicts, the dangers and the comic absurdities inherent in any foreign occupation.
Author: Arthur Herman
Publisher: Broadway Books
Release Date: 2007-12-18
An exciting account of the origins of the modern world Who formed the first literate society? Who invented our modern ideas of democracy and free market capitalism? The Scots. As historian and author Arthur Herman reveals, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Scotland made crucial contributions to science, philosophy, literature, education, medicine, commerce, and politics—contributions that have formed and nurtured the modern West ever since. Herman has charted a fascinating journey across the centuries of Scottish history. Here is the untold story of how John Knox and the Church of Scotland laid the foundation for our modern idea of democracy; how the Scottish Enlightenment helped to inspire both the American Revolution and the U.S. Constitution; and how thousands of Scottish immigrants left their homes to create the American frontier, the Australian outback, and the British Empire in India and Hong Kong. How the Scots Invented the Modern World reveals how Scottish genius for creating the basic ideas and institutions of modern life stamped the lives of a series of remarkable historical figures, from James Watt and Adam Smith to Andrew Carnegie and Arthur Conan Doyle, and how Scottish heroes continue to inspire our contemporary culture, from William “Braveheart” Wallace to James Bond. And no one who takes this incredible historical trek will ever view the Scots—or the modern West—in the same way again.
From the northern wilds of Greenland and Scotland to the far away reaches of Scandinavia and Siberia, a moving meditation on the allure of travel and the meaning of home. The sixtieth parallel marks a borderland between the northern and southern worlds. Wrapping itself around the lower reaches of Finland, Sweden, and Norway, it crosses the tip of Greenland and the southern coast of Alaska, and slices the great expanses of Russia and Canada in half. The parallel also passes through Shetland, where Malachy Tallack has spent most of his life. In Sixty Degrees North, Tallack travels westward, exploring the landscapes of the parallel and the ways that people have interacted with those landscapes, highlighting themes of wildness and community, isolation and engagement, exile and memory. An intimate journey of the heart and mind, Sixty Degrees North begins with the author's loss of his father and his own troubled relationship with Shetland, and concludes with an embrace of the place he calls home.
From the author of Earth: An Intimate History, an exuberant "biography" of four acres of woodland, evoking a cosmos of living and inanimate things and imagining its millennia of existence A few years ago, award-winning scientist Richard Fortey purchased four acres of woodland in the Chiltern Hills of Oxfordshire, England. The Wood for the Trees is the joyful, lyrical portrait of what he found there. With one chapter for each month, we move through the seasons: tree felling in January, moth hunting in June, finding golden mushrooms in September. Fortey, along with the occasional expert friend, investigates the forest top to bottom, discovering a new species and explaining the myriad connections that tie us to nature and nature to itself. His textured, evocative prose and gentle humor illuminate the epic story of a small forest. But he doesn't stop at mere observation. The Wood for the Trees uses the forest as a springboard back through time, full of rich and unexpected tales of the people, plants, and animals that once called the land home. With Fortey's help, we come to see a universe in miniature. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: P.F. Chisholm
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Release Date: 2016-09-01
In 1592, Sir Robert Carey, a handsome courtier, comes north to Carlisle to take up his new post as Deputy Warden of the West March. He has wangled his appointment to be nearer his true love, a married woman, and far from the gimlet eyes of his creditors and the disapproving eye of his father. Sir Robert is quick to realize he won't see any perks from the job if he fails to keep the peace. Alas, he is quickly challenged by the murder of a local lad, the possible betrayal of a disappointed rival, the ire of the lady's husband, and the question of the horses – the hundreds of horses being stolen from all over the neighborhood. It's hard to say whether the greater danger lies without the city walls amidst the scheming Scots – or within, amidst the unruly English garrison.
Author: George MacDonald Fraser
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Release Date: 2011-02-10
George MacDonald Fraser wrote The Candlemass Road after completing his research and writing The Steel Bonnets, his nonfiction account of the Anglo-Scottish border Reivers. Young Lady Margaret Dacre was brought up in the genteel fashion at the court of Queen Elizabeth I. When her father is murdered, she inherits his lands in the English West March and is plunged into a world where violence and raiding are commonplace. Fraser’s characters are, as always, richly developed through vivid descriptions and witty dialogues. His novel is true to the spirit of the Anglo-Scottish frontier feud.
Author: Rory Stewart
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2011-08-15
Genre: Political Science
Best-selling author Rory Stewart and political economist Gerald Knaus examine the impact of large-scale interventions, from Bosnia to Afghanistan. “A fresh and critically important perspective on foreign interventions” (Washington Post), Can Intervention Work? distills Rory Stewart’s (author of The Places In Between) and Gerald Knaus’s remarkable firsthand experiences of political and military interventions into a potent examination of what we can and cannot achieve in a new era of nation building. As they delve into the massive, military-driven efforts in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the authors reveal each effort’s enormous consequences for international relations, human rights, and our understanding of state building. Stewart and Knaus parse carefully the philosophies that have informed interventionism—from neoconservative to liberal imperialist—and draw on their diverse experiences in the military, nongovernmental organizations, and the Iraqi provincial government to reveal what we can ultimately expect from large-scale interventions and how they might best realize positive change in the world. Author and columnist Fred Kaplan calls Can Intervention Work? “the most thorough examination of the subject [of intervention] that I’ve read in a while.”
In 1937, Adam Nicolson's father answered a newspaper ad—"Uninhabited islands for sale. Outer Hebrides, 600 acres. . . . Puffins and seals. Apply."—and thus found the Shiants. With a name meaning "holy or enchanted islands," the Shiants for millennia were a haven for those seeking solitude, but their rich, sometimes violent history of human habitation includes much more. When he was twenty-one, Nicolson inherited this almost indescribably beautiful property: a landscape, soaked in centuries-old tales of restless ghosts and Bronze Age gold, that cradles the heritage of a once-vibrant world of farmers and fishermen. In Sea Room, Nicolson describes and relives his love affair with the three tiny islands and their strange and colorful history in passionate, keenly precise prose—sharing with us the greatest gift an island bestows on its inhabitants: a deep engagement with the natural world.