A veteran war correspondent journeys to remote mountain communities across the globe-from Albania and Chechnya to Nepal and Colombia-to investigate why so many conflicts occur at great heights
Mountainous regions are home to only ten percent of the world's population yet host a strikingly disproportionate share of the world's conflicts. Mountains provide a natural refuge for those who want to elude authority, and their remoteness has allowed archaic practices to persist well into our globalized era.
As Judith Matloff shows, the result is a combustible mix we in the lowlands cannot afford to ignore. Traveling to conflict zones across the world, she introduces us to Albanian teenagers involved in ancient blood feuds; Mexican peasants hunting down violent poppy growers; and Jihadists who have resisted the Russian military for decades. At every stop, Matloff reminds us that the drugs, terrorism, and instability cascading down the mountainside affect us all.
A work of political travel writing in the vein of Ryszard Kapuscinski and Robert Kaplan, No Friends but the Mountains is an indelible portrait of the conflicts that have unexpectedly shaped our world.
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About the Author
Judith Matloff teaches conflict reporting at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times Magazine, Economist, and Christian Science Monitor. Matloff lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
List of Maps viii
Introduction: A Towering Problem 1
1 One For One: The Dinaric Alps 13
2 Our Land is Our Land: Sierra Madre 35
3 Holding the High Ground of Nothing: The Andes 67
4 The Dammed: Himalayas 97
5 Mountain Thistles: The Caucasus 119
6 On the Existential Border: Kashmir 149
7 The Gods of the Valleys Are Not the Gods of the Hills
Part I The Green Mountains and the Hindu Rusk 169
Part II The Lyngen Alps 188
8 Cantonment (Contentment): The Pyrenees and the Swiss Alps 203
Bibliographic Essay 227