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

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Paperback, May 18 2000
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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: 20.8 x 19 x 14.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 771 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,310,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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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 "annesin" on Sept. 28 2001
Format: Paperback
A relatively complete review of dangerous places, including maps, factual and basic information, travel tips, history/politics and Pelton's experiences in these places -- some of which are amazing. An eye-opener ... It is very entertaining, and provides wonderful late-night bit-by-bit reading. 5 stars, for the research, the length, the orginality, and the largely correct information. However, not to be recommended, I think, as a very first approach to a country. It is a book for the knowlegeable reader, as it presents one aspect only.
My beef. Its a book written by men for men. An example: Pelton gives tips about how to dress -- but not for women! More seriously, some countries don't give visas to women travelling alone, others don't give visas to unmarried women, some countries permit entry but don't allow women to drive, etc. but such basic information is nowhere given. Travelling as a woman (either alone, because some of the places described are really not very dangerous, such as Israel or South Africa, or with others) is in itself a different kind of experience. One is shielded from some dangers, but very vulnerable to others: the upshot, from the 'danger' view point is that some places are horrifyingly dangerous for women, particularly for unaccompanied white women, and others are not dangerous at all, provided one doesn't try to meet warlords, buy guns, seek out sensitive information, impose one's viewpoint or lifestyle, etc. Perhaps someone could write just a short extra chapter? I'd certainly appreciate it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Imran Khan on June 29 2009
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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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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