Sunday, July 18, 2010

The More Serious Side of Travel

Between Terror and Tourism

Mewshaw knows two Africas: the picturesque one seen on postcards, and the dangerous one he discovered on African soil. Here, he takes readers from the benign beaches of Morocco to the casbahs of Algeria, where more than 100,000 people have died during a decade of political strife.

"Mewshaw, an intrepid travel writer and prolific novelist (Year of the Gun; Shelter from the Storm), celebrated his 65th birthday by taking an astonishing but somewhat hapless journey across North Africa. Sprinkling his account with literary allusions, he starts in Alexandria, Egypt, heads west through Libya, backtracks to Egypt, and continues on to Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco, revealing his dogged determination, edgy fearlessness, and knack for faithful dialog. Seasoned travelers will sympathize with the cultural misunderstandings and bureaucratic troubles encountered in various places, particularly Libya. Mewshaw admits that "travel is a need as urgent as oxygen." That urgency is evident in each well-turned phrase and incisive observation."--Library Journal

Travel as a Political Act

Travel connects people with people. It helps us fit more comfortably and compatibly into a shrinking world. And it inspires creative new solutions to persistent problems facing our nation. We can’t understand our world without experiencing it. Traveling as a Political Act helps us take that first step.

There’s more to travel than good-value hotels, great art, and tasty cuisine. Americans who “travel as a political act” can have the time of their lives and come home smarter—with a better understanding of the interconnectedness of today’s world and just how our nation fits in.

In his new book, acclaimed travel writer Rick Steves explains how to travel more thoughtfully—to any destination. He shares a series of field reports from Europe, Central America, Asia, and the Middle East to show how his travels have shaped his politics and broadened his perspective.

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