“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.
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.
Author: Jeffrey L. Amestoy
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2015-08-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
In 1834 Harvard dropout Richard Henry Dana Jr. became a common seaman, and soon his Two Years Before the Mast became a classic. Literary acclaim did not erase the young lawyer’s memory of floggings he witnessed aboard ship or undermine his vow to combat injustice. Jeffrey Amestoy tells the story of Dana’s determination to keep that vow.
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.
Author: Philip Marsden
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2016-03-25
In 2010, Philip Marsden, whom Giles Foden has called “one of our most thoughtful travel writers,” moved with his family to a rundown farmhouse in the countryside in Cornwall. From the moment he arrived, Marsden found himself fascinated by the landscape around him, and, in particular, by the traces of human history—and of the human relationship to the land—that could be seen all around him. Wanting to experience the idea more fully, he set out to walk across Cornwall, to the evocatively named Land’s End. Rising Ground is a record of that journey, but it is also so much more: a beautifully written meditation on place, nature, and human life that encompasses history, archaeology, geography, and the love of place that suffuses us when we finally find home. Firmly in a storied tradition of English nature writing that stretches from Gilbert White to Helen MacDonald, Rising Ground reveals the ways that places and peoples have interacted over time, from standing stones to footpaths, ancient habitations to modern highways. What does it mean to truly live in a place, and what does it take to understand, and honor, those who lived and died there long before we arrived? Like the best travel and nature writing, Rising Ground is written with the pace of a contemplative walk, and is rich with insight and a powerful sense of the long skein of years that links us to our ancestors. Marsden’s close, loving look at the small patch of earth around him is sure to help you see your own place—and your own home—anew.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER PULITZER PRIZE WINNER National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist A New York Times Notable Book One of the Best Books of the Year The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Denver Post, The Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, New York, People, Rocky Mountain News, Time, The Village Voice, The Washington Post The searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece. A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other. The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Fadumo Korn
Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY
Release Date: 2008-04-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
“A courageous . . . indispensable testament.”—Elfriede Jelinek, 2004 Nobel Laureate in Literature Selected as a Kirkus Reviews top pick for book clubs, Fadumo Korn’s story describes her brutal circumcision at age seven and her agonizing path to physical and psychological recovery. As a feisty nomad, Fadumo freely roamed the wild steppes of her native Somalia until her mother delivered her into the hands of an excisor to undergo female genital cutting (FGC, also known as female genital mutilation or FGM), to be made a woman in the eyes of her tribe. The complications brought on by the circumcision provide the impetus to her search for health and her story. Fadumo first travels to the bustling city of Mogadishu and the household of a wealthy uncle, brother of the Somali president. She enters a world of luxury underpinned by political instability and cruelty in a country gearing for rebellion. As her symptoms worsen, she journeys to Germany, where she receives not only therapy but love and acceptance from the most unlikely of places. Fadumo Korn weaves together a sensitive understanding of traditional practices with revelations about their disturbing effects. This deftly crafted tale, full of sorrow and surprising humor, provides a candid history of a life sculpted by crippling rheumatism and an unexpected path to recovery.
Author: Andrew Apter
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2017-11-29
Oduduwa's Chain is renowned historian and anthropologist Andy Apter's provocative statement on how scholars of the Black Atlantic should think through African heritage. Based on a lifetime of study of Yoruba history and culture in Nigeria, and filled with fascinating ethnographic and historical detail, the book argues that West African cultural frameworks--when critically reformulated--illuminate important New World historical trajectories. Apter applies a generative model of cultural revision to syncretism, creolization, ritual, gender, and ethnogenesis in the Americas, thereby identifying formative Yoruba influences without reifying its culture and tradition. Apter thus establishes the conceptual ground for recovering African genealogies in the Black Atlantic, not merely as objects of imperial ideology, or of transnational elite intellectual production, but as frameworks of collective empowerment in West Africa and the Americas.
Author: Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-10-13
In the dying days of the eighth century, the Vikings erupted onto the international stage with brutal raids and slaughter. The medieval Norsemen may be best remembered as monk murderers and village pillagers, but this is far from the whole story. Throughout the Middle Ages, long-ships transported hairy northern voyagers far and wide, where they not only raided but also traded, explored and settled new lands, encountered unfamiliar races, and embarked on pilgrimages and crusades. The Norsemen travelled to all corners of the medieval world and beyond; north to the wastelands of arctic Scandinavia, south to the politically turbulent heartlands of medieval Christendom, west across the wild seas to Greenland and the fringes of the North American continent, and east down the Russian waterways trading silver, skins, and slaves. Beyond the Northlands explores this world through the stories that the Vikings told about themselves in their sagas. But the depiction of the Viking world in the Old Norse-Icelandic sagas goes far beyond historical facts. What emerges from these tales is a mixture of realism and fantasy, quasi-historical adventures and exotic wonder-tales that rocket far beyond the horizon of reality. On the crackling brown pages of saga manuscripts, trolls, dragons and outlandish tribes jostle for position with explorers, traders, and kings. To explore the sagas and the world that produced them, Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough now takes her own trip through the dramatic landscapes that they describe. Along the way, she illuminates the rich but often confusing saga accounts with a range of other evidence: archaeological finds, rune-stones, medieval world maps, encyclopaedic manuscripts, and texts from as far away as Byzantium and Baghdad. As her journey across the Old Norse world shows, by situating the sagas against the revealing background of this other evidence, we can begin at least to understand just how the world was experienced, remembered, and imagined by this unique culture from the outermost edge of Europe so many centuries ago.
Author: Elijah Wald
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Social Science
This fascinating tale of the author's cross-country hitchhiking journey is a captivating look into the pleasures and challenges of the open road. As the miles roll by he meets businessmen, missionaries, conspiracy theorists, and truck drivers from all ages and ethnicities who are eager to open their car doors to a wandering stranger. This memoir uncovers the hidden reality that the United States remains hospitable, quirky, and as ready as ever to offer help to a curious traveler. Demonstrating how hitchhiking can be the ultimate in adventure travel--a thrilling exploration of both people and scenery--this guide also serves as a hitchhiker's reference, sharing the history behind this communal form of travel while touching on roadside lore and philosophy.