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