Harcourt, May 2006
In January 2002 Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan -- surviving by his wits, his knowledge of Persian dialects and Muslim customs, and the kindness of strangers. By day he passed through mountains covered in nine feet of snow, hamlets burned and emptied by the Taliban, and communities thriving amid the remains of medieval civilizations. By night he slept on villagers' floors, shared their meals, and listened to their stories of the recent and ancient past. Along the way Stewart met heroes and rogues, tribal elders and teenage soldiers, Taliban commanders and foreign-aid workers. He was also adopted by an unexpected companion -- a retired fighting mastiff he named Babur in honor of Afghanistan's first Mughal emperor, in whose footsteps the pair was following.
Through these encounters -- by turns touching, confounding, surprising, and funny -- Stewart makes tangible the forces of tradition, ideology, and allegiance that shape life in the map's countless places in between.
paperback | ISBN: 9780156031561 | Publication Date: May 2006
"[Stewart's] encounters with Afghans are tragic, touching, and terrifying; they all have the ring of unembellished authenticity . . . A mature debut, and an intelligent and illuminating introduction to this fascinating, unfortunate country."
--The Daily Telegraph (London)
"Someone in Kabul told me that a crazy Scotsman had walked from Herat
to Kabul right after the fall of the Taliban . . . I thought the story was an
urban legend. I was wrong. The crazy Scotsman was called Rory Stewart, and the
book he has written about his travels is wise, funny and marvelously
"An extraordinary journey across one of the world's most unsettled
--The Sunday Times (London)
"An astonishing achievement: a unique journey of great courage."