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I Wouldn't Start from Here: The 21st Century and Where It All Went Wrong Paperback – January 15, 2009


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I Wouldn't Start from Here: The 21st Century and Where It All Went Wrong + Robert Young Pelton's The World's Most Dangerous Places: 5th Edition (Robert Young  Pelton the World's Most Dangerous Places) + Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press (January 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593762186
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593762186
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #455,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The opening decade of the twenty-first century may go down in history as one of the deadliest and bloodiest on record. From Belfast to Basra, Kosovo to Cameroon, the globe is littered with conflicts between nations and tribes, superpowers and renegade republics. There are cases where the cause is known and identifiable; others that are more nebulous and confused. Some escalate into full-scale war, while others simmer as enduring hostilities. What ultimately unites them, claims Mueller, is the search for identity. An erstwhile rock critic, Mueller took the leap into battlefield journalism to investigate the ways in which a chaotic and tenacious concept of nationality can infuse a country’s individual citizens with the fervor to kill or die in its defense. Having been wounded and imprisoned in pursuit of this underlying truth through 70 of the world’s most volatile regimes, Mueller examines the daily lives of both a new breed of revolutionary and an old guard whose rhetoric is steeped in centuries-old traditions. Peppered with trenchant observations that reflect a nimble, cut-to-the-chase practicality, Mueller’s interviews with everyone from terrorist warlords to international peacemakers are refreshingly irreverent yet astute. --Carol Haggas

Review

"Mueller is the embodiment of what can happen with a fire in the belly and a desire to write out loud." ----Australian Book Review

More About the Author

I live in London and write things about stuff for a variety of publications, including The Guardian, Monocle, Esquire, Uncut, The Times, The Independent and The New Humanist. The website at www.andrewmueller.net broadcasts regular updates about same. I've written two books, and am currently working steadily towards ceasing procrastinating about starting on a third.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By I. Coburn on May 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am no expert at writing reviews, but I noticed this book had no reviews and thought someone should comment on it because it's a great book. I stumbled onto Mueller's first book "Rock And Hard Places" at a used book store in my town. I couldn't put it down, and I went searching for other books by him. This book basically carries on from where his first left off.

He tells stories of his travels through various conflict zones in the world, mainly during the 90's. He also returns to the areas to follow up after wars, and regime changes. A lot of these conflicts took place when I was in my early to mid-teens, and not really following the events of the time that closely. So I have really enjoyed learning more about the places, the time, and the conflicts.

In summary he is just a fantastic writer and story teller. He can make you laugh out loud, and make you think. I highly recommend the book, and I recommend tracking down his first book as well.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Keri A. on June 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
I just can't get over the fact that there is only one other review of this book! It's great - the best non-fiction book I've read in years. Pelton details plenty of action in all the various locales he travels too, but also gives you the recent historical background and insight into the complicated politics of the areas as well - all in a very readable way. Even if you aren't big on history and haven't stayed up on current events in the past couple decades - you will like this book. In addition to being an interesting and informative read, it's also quite funny - in a dark sort of way. I must confess that after reading this book I would have gladly jumped at the chance to travel to some remote area of conflict with the author - he makes even the most dangerous of places seem like destinations that must be visited. I hope he continues to travel and puts out another edition!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christopher D Beghin on January 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
I've read both of Mueller's books now and long for more. Riotously funny, thought-provoking and oddly touching - frequently on the same page. Buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Island Lawyer on March 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of those travelogues of hell holes. You know- the kind of place that you would love to go, but are too afraid to do it- especially as an American. Andrew Mueller is Australian, so it might be a bit easier for him. I could not stop laughing throughout the book. His wit and humor is classic. Great book overall.
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By Lafcadio on May 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm most impressed by Mueller's sense of humor. The book takes it's name from a joke told in Ireland by a man asking for directions, who is given the advice "well, I wouldn't start from here." Nice travelogue of hellholes, love to read these because I've been to a few of these places. I particularly learned about Northern Ireland/IRA issues.
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