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Published on Mar 18, 2008
In January 2002 Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan-surviving by his wits, his knowledge of Persian dialects and Muslim customs, and the kindness of strangers. Along the way Stewart met heroes and rogues, tribal elders and teenage soldiers, Taliban commanders and foreign-aid workers. He was also adopted by an unexpected companion-a retired fighting mastiff he named Babur in honor of Afghanistan's first Mughal emperor, in whose footsteps the pair was following. Through these encounters--by turns touching, confounding, surprising, and funny--Stewart makes tangible the forces of tradition, ideology, and allegiance that shape life in the map's countless places in between.
Rory Stewart has written for the New York Times Magazine, Granta, and the London Review of Books, and is the author of The Prince of the Marshes. A former fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire by the British government for services in Iraq. He lives in Scotland.
This event took place on March 10, 2008 as part of the Authors@Google program in Google's Mountain View, CA headquarters.