Robert Young Pelton's the World's Most Dangerous Places

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Whether you are traveling to Afghanistan or within the U.S., Robert Young Pelton takes you where the timid fear to tread — straight into the heart of the world's forbidden, lethal, and even criminal places — giving you all you need to know to survive the experience.

Featuring more than 30 countries, The World's Most Dangerous Places reveals their hidden dangers, including everything from diseases, land mines, and kidnapping to mercenaries, mujahedin, and militias. With firsthand...

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Whether you are traveling to Afghanistan or within the U.S., Robert Young Pelton takes you where the timid fear to tread — straight into the heart of the world's forbidden, lethal, and even criminal places — giving you all you need to know to survive the experience.

Featuring more than 30 countries, The World's Most Dangerous Places reveals their hidden dangers, including everything from diseases, land mines, and kidnapping to mercenaries, mujahedin, and militias. With firsthand accounts of breathtaking adventure in these hazardous locations, Pelton provides indispensable information on contacts for rescue organizations, environmental groups, political activists (including rebel groups), training schools in outdoor survival, commando techniques, and other potentially life-saving advice.

Whether you're an armchair traveler or a die-hard explorer, The World's Most Dangerous Places is your ticket to the white-knuckle pursuit of adventure...wherever it may be.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Riveting, passionate, astonishing, The World's Most Dangerous Places is a vital resource, especially for those inclined to explore the unknown. More than a travel guide, this alternative atlas for restless spirits will transport readers to the unmapped front-lines of today's flash points. Robert Young Pelton and his DP crew tour dozens of the world's most formidable countries, detailing with experienced aplomb (and hearty machismo) the hazards that await adventurers and adrenaline addicts. So whether traipsing from Tupolev to Transcaucasia or crewing a Kuwaiti minesweeper, or simply saving for a Club Med and indulging in a few Walter Mitty moments, your odds of returning safely increase exponentially with every morsel gleaned from The World's Most Dangerous Places.

Far from bliss, ignorance can spell trouble, so Pelton kicks off the fourth edition of The World's Most Dangerous Places with a diligently researched, statistics-filled primer on the variables of adventure travel. "Section One: What is Dangerous?" spells out the grim global realities: the chances of dying in a vehicular pile-up in Bahrain; the number of land mines per square mile in Chad; exactly how many journalists were killed in Tajikistan; as well as the odds of being airlifted out of any number of war-torn Shangri-Las. The facts are persuasive rather than dissuasive; forewarned is definitely forearmed. Pelton and his team provide practical advice on how to survive just about everything: minibuses, taxis, and trains; war zones and brutal dictatorships; revolutionary places, fundamentalist places, and just plain Nasty Places; and, most important for Americans, being a Yankee Pig.

Engrossing and readable, The World's Most Dangerous Places is a surreal jolt for armchair travelers and an indispensable bible for budding explorers. Willingly putting themselves in harm's way (or at least really darn close), Pelton and the DP contributors exude a steady "been there, done that" authenticity. The clear prose, sardonic wit, and hair-raising anecdotes are guaranteed to increase awareness. The World's Most Dangerous Places -- don't leave home without it.

Megan Schade is a frequent contributor to Barnes &

U.S. News and World Report
A primer on how to get in and out if potentially lethal places.
Today Show
Survival tips you just don't get anywhere else! The controversial adventurers' guidebook to the world's hot spots.
U.S. News and World Report
A primer on how to get in and out if potentially lethal places.
Today Show
One of the oddest and most fascinating travel books to appear in a long time.
Washington Post
Brash, opinionated, and darkly witty.
I found myself welcoming Pelton's opinionated style. He made me sit up and notice and forced me to consider what I thought about issues. I welcomed his willingness to write what he thinks without worrying about political correctness . . . a book worth some serious dipping in to.
Pelton combines high octane macho baroque with survival hints you just don't get anywhere else.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062737380
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/30/2000
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 1040
  • Product dimensions: 5.33 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 1.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Young Pelton is also the author of Come Back Alive, his auto-biography, The Adventurist, and is a regular columnist for National Geographic Adventure. He produces and hosts a television series for Discovery and the Travel Channel, and appears frequently as an expert on current affairs and travel safety on CNN, FOX News, and other news networks.

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Read an Excerpt

What Danger Awaits the Weary Traveler?
Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid...Not

So is travel dangerous? Not really. One survey says that you are less likely to have an accident on vacation than when you are at home. So what does that mean? That unemployed homeless people live longer than suburbanite workaholics? Other surveys say that most people are injured within a five-mile radius of their homes. So shop more than five miles out? It's hard to sell people on the idea of selling expeditions to the local 7-11 as the most dangerous form of travel, but it's true. If you believe the doom and gloom of the statistics, death is not a Chechen terrorist but comes softly on bunny-slippered feet.

But common sense usually prevails (I said usually).People still buy bus tours to Yemen, there are sex tourists in Cambodia and Uganda's gorillas are still amused by hordes of Tilley-hatted ecotourists.The message is that travel can be dangerous if you want it to be and it can be very safe if you want it to be.Even in a war zone.

The statistics and stories you are bombarded with on tourist misfortune has to be viewed against the staggering numbers of tourists out there at any one time.

In a typical year there are about half a billion tourists or travelers wandering around the world. That's a lot money belts, white shoes, Kodak boxes and cream of mushroom legs. In the mid-1800s, Thomas Cook started the package tour and the race was on. Railroads, steamships, buses, hotels, restaurants and prices sprang up to accommodate strangers, and other than a couple of world wars, tourism was on its way to become the world's largest industry.

In 1955 there were only 46million people traveling from one country to another. Most of them were well-heeled folks "doing the continent" or "taking the sun." Ten years later there were 144 million and today there are 500 million. That's a lot of Samsonite. It also means you read a lot more about misfortune, illnesses and death. These travelers cleaned out their wallets to the tune of $315 billion. Over the next few years tourism is expected to grow around 4.3 percent to 7.1 percent according to the World Tourism Organization. So move back to the rear of the bus.

Besides overcrowding, what do those half a billion people worry about when they travel? Most worry about high prices, safety and dirty accommodations in that order. Price is not this book's bailiwick, but you can figure out what things cost pretty easily these days. For informatin on dirt, you'll have to wait until you check into Pedro's Casa D'Amore before you race the cockroaches for your bath soap.

But safety, now that's an important thing to know about, wouldn't you think? Well, the sad fact is there are no comparative statistics on country or travel safety. I'll say it again in case you don't believe me. There is no way for a traveler to learn the relative safety of his or her destination. Sure you can call up Pinkerton's, Kroll O'Gara or even the State Department and they will give your their best statistical shot massaged with a healthy dose of WAG (wild-ass guess) to let you know if you should pack your Kevlar boxers. But the question I am asked over and over (Is it dangerous?) just can't be answered with statistics. Suffice it to say, the long form answer is the purpose of this book.

Now, I am not going to stop you from visiting the local tourist police office in Ouagadougou and you can even twist the arm of the tourism board in Mogadishu for recent robberies, but you will come up dry. Why?

Crime hurts tourism. Tourism means money. Money means overdevelopment. Massive overdevelopment breeds crime. Cheap hotels, cheap bars and even cheaper tourists now crowd the south of Europe, Mexican beaches, budget Caribbean islands and even meccas like Torremolinos, Daytona Beach, Cancun, Las Vegas and Branson. The migratory arrival of pendulous grannies, knobkneed welders, screaming kids and haggard housewives creates an instant feeding frenzy of snotty-nosed beggars, clapped-out hookers, gold-toothed cops, nimble-fingered teenagers and math-challenged bartenders. Soon all of these subdenizens are tugging at your Fila knockoff shorts, creating the perfect scenario for scams and theft. So understand a basic premise of tourist crime. Tourists breed crime like plastic sneakers breed fungus.

Forget about warfare, hotel bombs and public assassinations. Your biggest danger is having that rental car window smashed in and the Elvis decanter you left in the backseat ripped off. Hey, it was your fault, all the locals know to hide that stuff, so most destinations have no reason to publicize your stupidity to other equally stupid but unexpecting visitors. Remember the $315 billion these turistas spend every year. Some countries live or die based on tourism. If you come across statistics kept by tourist police you will quickly learn that it doesn't seem that bad because (duh) there are tourist police. If you call a government they will tell you that they don't keep statistics because there is no hard fine between a tourist crime and a regular crime. When I point out that usually a tourist has a plane ticket and a foreign passport, they say something like "I guess so." The bottom line is that after eight years of doing this book I have found no absolute indicator of crime rates against tourists. I can tell you that tourism breeds crime, and when Arthur Frommer starts complaining about tourist crime on his septuagenarian and low-budget wanderings, look out.

http://www. Nashville. Net/-police/risk/

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For those who have never read DP, I should provide the standard briefing. DP is not a travel guide; it is a guide to staying alive, a guide to less-traveled parts of the world and a guide to how to stay safe should you go there.
More importantly, DP is a book about learning things firsthand, about ignoring carefully coiffed newscasters and flipping the channel when talking heads regurgitate government policy or debate ethics du jour. DP is about stuffing a week's worth of old clothes into a tattered backpack and taking matters into your own hands. I don't care if you work in a hospital or man the front lines. There is no one right answer, no clean take, no big picture, just a lot of people who need to be heard and talked to about what makes this world the way it is. DP gives you enough addresses, phone numbers, web sites and backgrounders to intelligently formulate not an opinion but an approach.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2002

    An excellent read and a great guide

    Purchased initially due to a job that might cause me to go to many of these places, I was surprised to find it is also an enlightening and entertaining read! Well written, plenty of first hand stories and just enough history of the issues to get you informed and keep you on your toes. Even if you never leave your Lazy Boy, you'll love reading this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2001

    Excellent for a Travel Guide......

    Excellent for a travel guide? huh you say, well im in the Merchant Marine and often have to travel all over the world. With this book on my side i know what to look out for from crazy militants to disease ridden tropics. Some ports ive been to i have often had to say 'man i wish i knew that...' as i got into trouble without asking. This book has done so much for me as a traveler and i feel alot safer on this planet with it at my side.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2001

    Exciting and very informative about our world!

    This book is the most recent work that I have read from Robert Pelton and the other authors who contributed to this book. From the beginning, it describes the world's most dangerous jobs to what to bring along for you adventure at the end, the authors write on what is happening in the world today. This book is also a very good resource for students who need information for papers, reports, etc.... I have used his book on several papers in college for a class of foreign policies. This book is very exciting and I think that everyone who is thinking of traveling outside the U.S.A., even to Mexico, should take a look at this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2000

    No Club Med Here...

    Arguably the best installment of RYP's tragically hip and horrifically humourous voyage into probably the most bizzare travel books ever conceived. Forget your suntan lotion and sombreros- all you'll need are your wits and some generous huevos to journey to some notably very lethal destinations. A mother lode of facinating statistics, legitimate travel info, helpful survival tips and probably the best source of information out there is all coupled with a tone of macabre that makes this a gem of a book. The only thing that I look forward to more than a good reread is the release date of the newest edition. Right on my desk to my my most refernced books. Outstanding!!!

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