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The World's Most Dangerous Places: 4e Paperback – May 18 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1040 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; 4th edition edition (May 18 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062737384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062737380
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 13.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 771 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,234,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Fielding's The World's Most Dangerous Places is not a comforting book; its pages bristle with tales of land mines, war zones, terrorists, mercenaries, mafiosi, massacres, kidnappers, drug smugglers, and all the other travel disasters that are the stuff of nightmares. But then, as the editors point out in their foreword, "as travelers are kidnapped and executed in Cambodia, a recognized dangerous place, they also are hunted down and murdered in Los Angeles." In other words, the most dangerous place in the world is more of a state of mind: ignorance.

Neither is The World's Most Dangerous Places meant to be used as a guidebook. True, there will be some adrenaline junkies out there who, upon perusing the pages about the war in Chechnya, decide that that's the place they want to be. The people most likely to benefit from this book, however, are those who either have to visit the perilous corners of the world--journalists, foreign-service employees, etc.--or those who have a desire to learn more about such places without necessarily visiting them. It's also a good compliment to more mainstream guidebooks for the growing legion of adventure travelers whose quests for higher mountains to climb, fiercer rivers to raft, and wilder trails to hike often take them to hazardous regions. Whether you're planning a trip to a dangerous place or you just want to learn more about one, The World's Most Dangerous Places is the right book at the right time. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


"A primer on how to get in an out of potentially lethal places." -- --U.S. News & World Report

"One of the oddest and most fascinating travel books to appear in a long time." -- --New York Times

"Survival tips you just don't get anywhere else!" -- --Outside magazine

"The controversial adventurers' guidebook to the world's hot spots." -- --Today Show

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I purchased this book shortly after 9/11 to gain an inside look at some of the world's more dangerous places, and I found the book's vivid descriptions sober yet strangely funny at times. Robert Young Pelton seems like an Indiana Jones-style adventurer who is both intrepid and intelligent, able to get friendly with the natives in places that most people would never think of setting foot. Who among us would dare to share tea with a Kalashnikov-toting Afghan mujahid? Or get to know some of the armed gangs in Somalia? Who among us would risk robbery, kidnapping, tropical disease, or even cultural misunderstanding (e.g. in the Islamic world, NEVER pass food at dinner with your left hand) to travel to and document some of the world's most dangerous places? RYP would.

The book is written in a somewhat irreverent, no-nonsense tone, so if you like that writing style, you will love thus book. Of course, such a book is not for everybody, which might explain some of the less enthusiastic reviews here. Definitely not for the weak-hearted or squeamish. Most amusing tip: When travelling in some of these dangerous places (where crime may run rampant), if you are in a car with the window rolled down, keep the arm on which you wear your watch INSIDE the car.

I have the 4th edition, which was written before 9/11, but the book probably still has some information which is still up-to-date. Highly recommended for those looking for an unorthodox travel guide.
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Format: Paperback
For what this book tries to do, it's about as good as could possible be written on the subject it chooses to discuss. It could more accurately be named the Encyclopedia of the World's Most Dangerous Places. It's that good. It's that complete. It's a bible in its genre.
I'm not sure what else to say other than that opening paragraph. You can open it up randomly, start reading, and immediately be engrossed in it. More likely, you'll scan the table of contents and pick out a country that's of particular interest at the moment. For instance, when I got this book, it was Afghanistan. Now, it might be the same, or Iraq, Iran, Israel, North Korea...there are any number of places that might interest you at the moment. And this book goes on to cover it with excruciating detail.
If I were forced to make one, the only complaint would have to be that there's too much information. But that's hardly a complaint. I'm merely trying to be objective and it's hard to come up with much of anything lacking in this book. If I had it my way, I would include an end-of-chapter essay about every country, as opposed to the select few that appear in this book. I really enjoyed these slices of dangerous life discussed there. Written by various authors, they lend credence to a lot of the information preceding it.
Good stuff. This is a great reference to have on your bookshelf, so the next time a random country pops up on the International War Zone radar, you can pick it up and know a lot in less than an hour. Above these specific country details, this book also delves into specifics about what makes any country dangerous. From landmines to kidnapping, this book really does a great job covering much of what you need to know about the dangers in this world.
An excellent reference to have for those interested in keeping abreast of the dangerous reality of our world.
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By A Customer on Dec 1 2003
Format: Paperback
Pelton's book is NOT your daily fodder by any means.
It is loaded with advice, anecdotes, data, personalities, descriptions of regions and people to be VERY careful in or with, modes of travel, weather/climate data, currency, survival tips and the like. I am a notoriously light packer...seems I have been ahead of the curve...and the section of what to pack was most amusing and made loads of sense; in truth it was one of my favorite sections.
It may inspire those who truly like to live life on the edge to dash off to parts little traveled...however, we more or less normal folks will be grateful for the read and entertained by the book. I for one, however, will have no intention of running off to get a passport photo today.
There are regions mentioned that I had never even heard of, plus some long-simmering locales are listed that I was under the impression had cooled off. Interesting if you read things beyond the sports section of your newspaper.
To be honest there IS a noteable anti-American slant to some of the writing (be forewarned) which for me dampened the experience.
The political slant of SOME, not all, of the text was not all that appropriate I felt...but c'est la vie. Also it DOES take a few pages to get to the nitty-gritty, too. A bit of editing or rearranging the text might be a good idea for any future editions.
To be fair, a good portion of the writing is quite entertaining and I found myself absorbed at various sections on a semi regular basis. There are sections that I read again and again. There is a great deal of detail & effort in this work, to be sure.
All in all an "A" for effort (these folks reportedly put their lives on the line to write this, let's give credit where it's due) but I'd give it a "B-" overall.
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Format: Paperback
I bought the book because I thought it would be like a "Fodors" travel book for the most "dangerous places". What I wound up buying was a political commentary book that focuses on travel.
Chock full of information easily found anywhere else, it seems like he puts any informarion in the book just to expand the page count. When you buy a book titled "World's Most Dangerous Places", you don't expect to have to slosh through 319 pages of fluff just to get to the first "Dangerous place". The first part of the book (318 pages worth) is filled with commentary about auto accident rates, diseases - how they are spread and weapon and artilery descriptions. There is a chapter devoted "dangerous occupations" that gives us the history of the US green berets and UN peacekeepers. Nice but all fluff. At some point you just say to yourself "enough already" and get to the reason you bought the book. Skip to the first "dangerous place".
Once there, you will be supplied with continuous jabs at US policy that is somehow the cause of the worlds problems. Left-leaning attacks on the US govt and Israel take all the objectivity out of the book. That fact that the US is even in the book of "World's most dangerous places" is ridiculous. Maybe the US should be in the book if the only place in the US that existed are the inner cities. To use examples of Columbine shootings and "Militias" as threats to everyday americans or tourists is flat out a personal political opinion not based in fact. He dedicates pages to argue the point that Bush lost to Gore and Gore should be president. What business does this have in a Travel Book?!?
Bottom line. Not worth [item price]. A nice read to thumb through if you saw it on a coffee table and if you are able to bite your tongue as you sift through the US attacks.
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