Most western critics of the junta that has ruled Burma since 1962 -- violently suppressing the democracy movement and crushing human rights while dominating the international opium trade -- have hesitated to visit the country lest the cost of their trip help to prop up the regime. George Fetherling shared these concerns. But motivated by a desire to see the situation first hand, he resolved to go anyway -- as economically as possible.
Setting out from Greece, he hitchhiked on a reconditioned but very unseaworthy WW II troop ship that took him to South America round the Horn to Polynesia, where frequent-flyer points put him within range of Rangoon, Mandalay and the ethnic refugee settlements on the Thai border. En route he explored such places as Casablanca, the Falkland Islands and Antarctica, as well as two of the most isolated yet most written about spots on earth: Easter Island and Pitcairn Island.
In the process, Fetherling saw in many forms the relics of European colonialism and the nationalist movements that followed and caught glimpses of a third age that lies round the corner. This unique narrative is a journey through politics and society as well as geography; a fasinating account of a search for the heart of the post-Cold War world.
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