The World's Most Dangerous Places: 4e Paperback – May 18 2000
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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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
To illustrate the shoddy content of this book, let me elaborate on two chapters in the upcoming 1999 edition, on South Africa and Israel. I have lived in South Africa for twenty-five years, an in Israel for five, reporting on both for major newspapers. In this book, Israel is described as "a small country that forcibly occupies the Golan Heights" (p. 501). How does Israel "forcibly" occupy a part of its own territory? The Golan is claimed by Syria and is not an issue in the Israel-Palestinian talks. Second, the author claims that "the Jewish sabbath is rigorously observed". Interesting news to me, bearing in mind that Israel's national bus line, Egged, runs all day Saturday. Third, the chapter describes Israel as being in a state of war, fraught with terrorism and bloodshed. This is nonsense.
Regarding South Africa, the author gives Nelson Mandela's telephone number, as if one could simply telephone the ex-President up and complain. He prostitutes the country as a primitive third world state to sell his book and ignores the reality that South Africa has made amazing progress towards establishing a black middle class. Has this author actually stepped foot in South Africa? He also chooses to lump the crime in Johannesburg with Cape Town, which is a very safe city. I lived in Cape Town for twenty-five years and have never had a single incident.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I bought the book because I thought it would be like a "Fodors" travel book for the most "dangerous places". Read morePublished on June 19 2003 by ornella caruso
Here is a catalouge, an encyclopedia, and the antithesis of travel guides if you will, of the least popular and least understood countries that make up patches in the giant... Read morePublished on April 11 2003 by zonaras
I have consulted this book many times over the last few years, both as entertainment and as a reference to what is going on in a particular part of the world. Read morePublished on March 19 2003 by Denis Benchimol Minev
This book is truly awsome! RYP gives it his all in this book, he tales of real life accounts, he gives sources for you to look up if wanted, and the book gets updated every year or... Read morePublished on March 4 2003 by Randy
This is a fun page turner for anyone interested in knowing all sorts of information about the less traveled places of the world. Read morePublished on Dec 26 2002
... that Robert Young Pelton is the same guy who was in the prison compound in Mazar-e-Sharif during the uprising and got the interview with John Walker Lindh? Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2002
A great book that is not only factual but fun to read as well. It has stirred an interest in me to get out and see the world not as a tourist, but as an adventurer. Good luck.Published on Oct. 13 2002
I've read and used portions of the 3rd edition. Some of the 3rd edition is a bit outdated so I'm hoping the 4th will be up to date. Read morePublished on Sept. 14 2002 by eabeaton