Baghdad Without A Map, and Other Misadventures in Arabia

Baghdad Without A Map, and Other Misadventures in Arabia

Book - 1992
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"A very funny and frequently insightful look at the world's most combustible region."-- The New York Times Book Review


With razor-sharp wit and insight, intrepid journalist Tony Horwitz gets beyond solemn newspaper headlines and romantic myths of Arabia to offer startling close-ups of a volatile region few Westerners understand. His quest for hot stories takes him from the tribal wilds of Yemen to the shell-pocked shores of Lebanon; from the malarial sands of the Sudan to the eerie souks of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, a land so secretive that even street maps and weather reports are banned.

As an oasis in the Empty Quarter, a veiled woman offers tea and a mysterious declaration of love. In Cairo, "politeness police" patrol seedy nightclubs to ensure that belly dancers don't show any belly. And at the Ayatollah's funeral in Tehran a mourner chants, "Death to America," then confesses to the author his secret dream--to visit Disneyland.

Careening through thirteen Muslim countries and Israel, Horwitz travels light, packing a keen eye, a wicked sense of humor, and chutzpah in almost suicidal measure. This wild and comic tale of Middle East misadventure reveals a fascinating world in which the ancient and the modern collide.

"As a document of the cultural impasse that brought on the war, this is unsurpassed."-- Village Voice

"High-spirited and entertaining."-- The New Yorker

"A timely and incisive insider's description of the mysterious Arab World . . . Tony Horwitz is an ideal guide for American Reader."-- Chicago Tribune
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Plume, 1992.
ISBN: 9780452267459
Characteristics: 285 p. : map ; 21 cm.


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Apr 01, 2016

This author had me gut-laughing from page 2 of the prologue & it never really let up, even through all the horrors of war & the tragicomedy of despotism, among the many other troubles & triumphs great & small that this guy encounters. A skillful journalistic voice & an excellent window on Middle Eastern culture, directly quoted, & while the roster of current events has probably changed plenty in the last 20 years, the hopes & despairs & ironies in play seem timelessly recorded here, with a lot of empathy & insight along the way. Very much recommended! CR


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