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The Places in Between


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About the Author

RORY STEWART is the best-selling author of The Places in Between and The Prince of the Marshes. A former director of the Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy and Ryan Professor of Human Rights at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for services in Iraq. He is the Conservative member of Parliament for Penrith and The Border, a constituency in Northern Cumbria, where he lives with his wife.


Scottish journalist Stewart trekked across Afghanistan shortly after the Taliban's fall and offers a rare opportunity to learn about a country much in the news but relatively unknown to most Americans. Fluent in several languages, Stewart communicated with an array of people and could quickly perceive hostility or danger. The trip followed the footsteps of Babur, a 15th-century emperor, whose quotations enrich the book. Stewart found a beautiful but violent land and learned more about its geography, history, religion, and politics from villagers, soldiers, rebels, and relief workers whom he encountered. The author demonstrates his fabulous way of handling difficult people and situations through a combination of brashness and humility. Near the end of this journey of survival, he befriends Babur, a retired fighting mastiff. Stewart is one of those rarities-an author who is also a splendid narrator. His accent and pronunciation of words from many languages are brilliant. Every library striving for a timely collection must add this title.-Susan G. Baird, Chicago Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"A striding, glorious book . . . Learned but gentle, tough but humane, Stewart . . . writes with a mystic's appreciation of the natural world, a novelist's sense of character and a comedian's sense of timing . . . A flat-out masterpiece . . . The Places in Between is, in very nearly every sense, too good to be true."--The New York Times Book Review "A splendid tale that is by turns wryly humorous, intensely observant, and humanely unsentimental."--Christian Science Monitor "Stupendous . . . an instant travel classic."--Entertainment Weekly "Stewart's 36-day walk across Afghanistan, starting just weeks after the fall of the Taliban, sets a new standard for cool nerve and hot determination . . . His description of the landscapes he traverses makes you feel you're accompanying him through a shifting, sculpted painting . . . Sublimely written."--The Seattle Times "Stunning . . . That he has written a remarkable memoir of his trek might contribute greatly not only to our reading pleasure, but to our understanding of Afghanistan in the 21st century . . . The Places in Between effectively depicts the spectacularly stark landscape, the utter poverty and the devastation of decades of war. But far more interesting are the men . . . Stewart met along the way." --The Plain Dealer

"A splendid tale that is by turns wryly humorous, intensely observant, and humanely unsentimental."
--Christian Science Monitor
"Remarkable...Gripping account of a courageous journey, observed with a scholar's eye and a humanitarian's heart."
--Kirkus Reviews
"A flat-out masterpiece...In very nearly every sense, too good to be true."
--The New York Times Book Review
"Stupendous...an instant travel classic."
--Entertainment Weekly
"Engaging and eminently readable...A masterly job."
--Library Journal
"Sets a new standard for cool nerve and hot determination...Sublimely written."
--Seattle Times
"Stunning...Contribute[s] greatly not only to our reading pleasure, but to our understanding of Afghanistan."
--The Plain Dealer

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