Jo's Reviews > So Many Enemies, So Little Time: An American Woman in All the Wrong Places

So Many Enemies, So Little Time by Elinor Burkett
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Oct 24, 09

bookshelves: biography-memoir, travel
Read in October, 2009

Really quite interesting. This is a first person account of the author's time as a Fulbright professor teaching journalism in Kyrgyzstan in 2001-2002 - arriving right after 9/11. It describes a year-in-the-life of a journalist and her husband who went to live in Kyrgyzstan. During the time they were there, she and her husband also traveled to Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Russia, Burma/Myanmar, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia. I found this book fascinating for the insights it gave me into parts of the world I know very little about (embarrassingly, I told my partner when I started the book that I didn't know there was a country named, "Kyrgyzstan", though I knew of the other "-stans". He knew about it.) I now feel that I know more about the breakup of the former USSR, about the "-stans" that used to be part of it and how they are different from each other, about social and economic factors which are influencing events in central Asia, and about how and why tribal interactions affect politics in some countries. At times she seemed the Ugly American (very opinionated, wants to "change" her students, comments about the food, pessimistic etc) and she goes on a rather disturbing rant at one point toward the end, but most of the time it has hope, humor, intense interest in the people now, and as she learns we do too.
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