an imprint of counterpoint

I Wouldn’t Start from Here

I Wouldn’t Start from Here

The 21st Century and Where It All Went Wrong

Andrew Mueller

Introduction by Robert Young Pelton, author of The World’s Most Dangerous Places

Mueller wanders the world’s failed states, ravaged war zones, and desolate no-man’s-lands to comprehend why we snatch war from the jaws of peace, why so much that can go wrong does go wrong, over and over again (Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and others), and how some conflicts suddenly, quietly, inexplicably seem to find themselves solved (Northern Ireland, Albania, Abkhazia).

Rather than offer a plaintive cry of “why can’t we all get along,” Mueller observes that for the most part, people get along just fine; extremist minority groups are the major culprits. Yet it’s a surprisingly sunny book given the mire in which he finds himself. Mueller’s journey is an entertaining and eye-opening tour of the world’s moral basements, in which he meets influential panjandrums (Al Gore, Gerry Adams, Bono, Paddy Ashdown), any number of assorted warlords and revolutionaries, and a sprinkling of peacemakers and do-gooders. He also manages to get shot at a couple of times, locked up once, and taken on a guided tour by one of the world’s most infamous terrorist organizations.

Among various misadventures in more than 70 countries, Andrew Mueller has reported on the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, the lifting of the siege of Bihac, the handover of Hong Kong, the invasion of Iraq, the wartime rock’n’roll scene of Sarajevo, an Elvis Presley festival in Tupelo and Ukraine’s efforts to launch Chernobyl as a tourist destination. He has ridden the Cresta Run, driven the proverbial Road to Damascus, been given a guided tour of Lebanon by Hizbollah, patrolled Basra with the Welsh Guards, Kabul with the Royal Anglian Regiment, and played the country songwriters’ open-mic night at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. Born in Australia, he has been based in London for the last twenty years.
Paper | 6″ x 9″ | 384 pgs. | ISBN: 1-59376-218-6 | List: $16.95 | 03/1/2009
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