The Critics: ‘Bad Lands: A Tourist on the Axis of Evil’

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  04.24.07 | 10:57 AM ET

imageIt’s not a new idea, visiting the countries U.S. President George W. Bush dubbed the “Axis of Evil.” Ben Anderson, for instance, did it several years ago, and the BBC broadcast several programs based on his travels. Now Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler has written “Bad Lands: A Tourist on the Axis of Evil,” in which he chronicles his travels through Bush’s original three “axis” countries—Iran, Iraq and North Korea—plus Afghanistan, Albania, Burma, Cuba, Libya and Saudi Arabia.

In the Guardian, Rory MacLean gives “Bad Lands” a reserved thumbs up.

Bad Lands would have been stronger with fewer tips (“It’s not a bad view and not a bad carafe of red wine for less than three dollars”) and more insight into Wheeler’s life. The moments are all too rare when he draws on his exceptional, globetrotting experience, as he does on a drive through Afghanistan which reminds him of Ladakh (“the same gently-folded hills, beautifully shadowed in early and late light”), Turkey, Tibet and Ethiopia. Nevertheless his direct, conversational style disarms and engages the reader, providing us with a timely and passionate view of the world by one of its most travelled sons.

Wheeler offers more thoughts about his book and his journeys in a Q&A at Lonely Planet, and in interviews with SBS Radio and the Herald Sun.

Related on World Hum:
* Iran Hopes to Lure Western Travelers With Cash Incentives
* Dictatorship Tourism: North Korea Opens (Briefly) to U.S. Citizens
* Zimbabwe: A Secret Trip to ‘Mugabeland’
* Tony Wheeler Goes to Iraq

1 Comment for The Critics: ‘Bad Lands: A Tourist on the Axis of Evil’

Marilyn Terrell 05.13.07 | 6:09 AM ET

Here’s a recent video clip from Tehran, showing female dress police accosting Iranian women on the street who are not dressed appropriately:

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.