Elaine Nelson's Reviews > Travel as a Political Act

Travel as a Political Act by Rick Steves
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's review
Apr 20, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: autobiography, history, non-fiction, politics, travel, favorites
Read in April, 2010

I first starting watching Steves's show when I was in college, and though we often made fun of his extreme dorkiness, I've always appreciated his enthusiasm for travel and for other cultures.

In this book, he writes about how his travels have given him new perspectives on the political and social challenges of our time. In particular, his way of traveling, which is to get away from the tours and tourist traps, and out into the everyday world.

Each chapter focuses on a different topic, explored through his experiences in a particular region. Mostly Europe, but there is a chapter on El Salvador and another on Iran. What I find is that he has a very optimistic but nuanced view of the world. It also becomes clear that there's a religious influence to his views, but IMHO it's the best kind of Christian: infused with love and charity.

I found it fascinating and engaging; it made me think about my own views and to daydream about travel, which I suppose was the point.

Bonus points for gorgeous full-color photography. It's rare to find a thoughtful (not natural science) non-fiction book that also has such great imagery!
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message 1: by Heidi (new) - added it

Heidi Sinderman i love your mention of his extreme dorkiness. something i've noticed as well, giggled at, and then moved into great wonder and appreciation at his commitment and excitement for travelling. saw RS speak awhile back, he was decked out all in black, rock star style it seemed to me. :)

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