Where the West Ends: Stories from the Middle East, the Balkans, the Black Sea, and the Caucasus

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Overview

Prize-winning author Michael J. Totten returns with a masterpiece of travel writing and history in this journey through thirteen nations-all but two formerly communist-just beyond the edge of the West where few casual travelers venture. His work as an independent foreign correspondent takes him deep into the field beyond the sensational headlines, from his hilariously miserable road trip through the Middle East with his best friend to Iraq, and around Eastern Europe to the Wild West of Albania; from the killing ...
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Where the West Ends: Stories from the Middle East, the Balkans, the Black Sea, and the Caucasus

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Overview

Prize-winning author Michael J. Totten returns with a masterpiece of travel writing and history in this journey through thirteen nations-all but two formerly communist-just beyond the edge of the West where few casual travelers venture. His work as an independent foreign correspondent takes him deep into the field beyond the sensational headlines, from his hilariously miserable road trip through the Middle East with his best friend to Iraq, and around Eastern Europe to the Wild West of Albania; from the killing fields in Bosnia and Kosovo to a Romania haunted by the ghosts of its communist past; from the front lines in the Caucasus during Russia's invasion of Georgia to the otherworldly post-Soviet disasterscape in Ukraine. Where the West Ends is high-octane adventure writing at its finest and is Michael J. Totten's most entertaining work written to date.

Praise for Where the West Ends

"Hunter S. Thompson drove to Vegas while tripping: big deal. Michael J. Totten drove to Iraq on a whim and a bad tire while suffering the shuddering flu. Lucky for us, he brought back tales of bribery, bad architecture, Kurdish love, Yanks in unexpected places, and the cigarette smuggler desperate to schlep some smokes past the guys with guns. And that's just chapter one." - James Lileks, author of Falling Up the Stairs

"Of all the journalists now alive and writing in English, there are few whose reporting interests me more than Michael Totten's-in fact, none that I can think of offhand. I spent days thinking about Where the West Ends, deeply affected by the eerie melancholy it evokes and the questions it raises about the borderlands of old empires and the places people don't visit for pleasure." - Claire Berlinksi, author of Menace in Europe

"Michael J. Totten goes on road trips to where the West ends. Every good foreign corespondent should spend some time as a tourist. A higher wisdom is achieved. Reporters are insiders, but it's outsiders who get to look in. Reporters think they're exploring, but tourists know they're lost." P.J. O'Rourke, author of Holidays in Hell

"At a time when news organizations are limiting their coverage of international affairs to stay-at-home commentators, Michael J. Totten harks back to the golden age of foreign correspondence." Journalist and screenwriter Matthew Clayfield

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781475183641
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/23/2012
  • Pages: 282
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael J. Totten is an award-winning journalist and prize-winning author whose very first book, The Road to Fatima Gate, won the Washington Institute Book Prize.

His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic among others, and he's a contributing editor at World Affairs and City Journal. He has reported widely from the Middle East, the Balkans, and the former Soviet Union, and although he lived once in Beirut, Lebanon, today he lives with his wife and two cats in Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 9, 2012

    Great ride!

    This is a great ride through parts of the world that are truly on the edge! If you wonder what living on the other side of the Iron curtain was like you can take a peak at the global leftovers in this book. The writing is lively and easy to read, the descriptions are honest and informative, and there is a lot of humor as well. Highly recommended!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 17, 2013

    It's a great read, very intriguing and seemingly back by history

    It's a great read, very intriguing and seemingly back by history.

    However, be aware that if the rest of his book is as off as the current info is about the Balkans, it's radically different than when he went. He went to the Balkans in 2008 and I went there  in 2012, none of what he said was recognizable. 

    The Balkans he describes with a Serbia that hates Americans and a totally downtrodden Albania and a recovered Sarajevo were not at all what I experienced.  This the credibility of the rest of his writing is in doubt. Reading it as part fiction or falsified memories makes it enjoyable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Just OK

    As I read this, I kept thinking "What's the point?" The writer seemed to do these trips to have fodder for the book. It just didn't grab me. I was hoping for some Bill Bryson type tales. Maybe that wasn't a fair starting point. For what it cost me, not a big deal but I don't care to read his other books. Sorry.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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