Baghdad without a Map and Other Misadventures in Arabia

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9780525249603: Baghdad without a Map and Other Misadventures in Arabia

“A very funny and frequently insightful look at the world’s most combustible region.”—The New York Times Book Review

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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

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Review:

Horwitz has the touch, the ability to astutely capture the ludicrous essence of an experience while filling in all the pertinent socio-historic details. He chews qat with the Yemenis, plays soccer with the Sudanese Dinka refugees and listens to an endless refrain of "You are the perfume of Iraq, oh Saddam" in Baghdad. Horwitz' eye and wit are equally sharp, and his book is an exceptionally good read.

About the Author:

Tony Horwitz is the author of One for the Road and the bestselling Baghdad Without a Map. A senior writer for The Wall Street Journal and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, he has also written for The New Yorker and Harper's, among other publications. He lives with his wife and son in Virginia.

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