So Many Enemies, So Little Time: An American Woman in All the Wrong Places

by Elinor Burkett

Hardcover, 2004

Call number

915 B



Harper (2004), Edition: Stated First Edition, 336 pages


At a time when Americans were so riveted by questions about their place in a newly hostile world and were swearing off air travel, Elinor Burkett did not just take a trip -- she took a headlong dive into enemy territories. Her yearlong odyssey began with her assignment as a Fulbright Professor teaching journalism in Kyrgyzstan, a faded fragment of Soviet might in the heart of Central Asia -- a place of dilapidated apartments, bizarre food, and demoralized citizens clinging to the safety of Brother Russia. She then journeyed to Afghanistan and Iraq -- where she mingled with tense Iraqis, watching the gathering storm clouds of an American-led invasion -- as well as Iran, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, China, and Vietnam. Whether she's writing about being served goat's head in a Kyrgyz yurt, checking out bowling alleys in Baghdad, or trying to cook a chicken in a crumbling apartment, Burkett offers an eclectic series of adventures that are alternately comical, poignant, and discomfiting.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member KAzevedo
I have not enoyed reading History or nonfiction and was pleasantly surprised by this book. The author is a Pullitzer nominated journalist. The book is an easy read, covering the year she spent in Krygyzstan on a Fullbright exchange teaching Journalism, and her travels to other parts of Central
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Asia. She searches for the reasons for the purported hatred of Americans and reports on her time there and the people and culture she encounters. Her descriptions of her experiences drew me in and kept me very interested.
I enjoyed it; it has stimulated me to search out more on the history of the region, especially that of Afghanistan and the Taliban.
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LibraryThing member Jcambridge
I enjoyed this book, but it did not lead me to add this region to the places I want to visit. My son worked with an organization that brings young people from various regions of the world (including the various "stans" of Central Asia) to visit and learn about the U.S. Meeting and talking with some
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of these students suggested there is hope for the future, but resolution of so many conflicts will be a long time coming.
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LibraryThing member danoomistmatiste
An interesting travelogue of the author hell bent on visiting all the world's premier non-tourist destinations like kyrgystan, turmkmenistan, kazakhstan etc. After living in them for any amount of time you will not take anything for granted.
LibraryThing member varielle
Elinor Burkett accepted a Fulbright scholarship to teach for a year in Central Asia post 9/11. This is an excellently written memoir of her travels and experiences throughout the region from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan to Iran and everywhere in between. She is adept at illiciting the locals opinions
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of politics, culture and the world, which often follows a rationale that is never even considered in the West. As someone suffering from wanderlust, I applaud the intrepid Ms. Burkett. She's much braver that I could ever be.
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