What great, loveable goofball Rory Stewart is. I heard him speak at the University of Arizona about ten years ago—it was memorable. Mostly, he dwelt on his time as deputy governor of Amarah and then Nasiriyah in 2003, provinces in the remote, impoverished marsh regions of southern Iraq. This is the subject matter for The Prince of Marshes. He contrasts the brevity of political and military assignments in post-Saddam Iraq with the centuries of tribal aggregation and rule, and the past continuity of British colonials who remained in their positions for years. The two styles of government could not co-exist. It was clear that the situation in Iraq was a train wreck and that civil war was inevitable. You would not think the book would be entertaining, but it was. Stewart writes like he is personally telling you a riveting story.
From 2000 to 2002 he traveled on foot through rural districts of Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, India and Nepal, a journey totaling around 6000 miles, during which he stayed in five hundred different village houses. The Places in Between is his journal from 32 days walking across Afghanistan in 2002—in the dead of winter, weeks after the defeat of the Taliban. The man does not know fear. I could not put it down. It is an excellent travel book as well as political and social commentary.
Today Rory Stewart is a Conservative MP from Cumbria. You can visit his “professional” website at www.rorystewart.co.uk. At Wikipedia, you find all the interesting goodies (he was William and Harry’s tutor). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rory_Stewart#Walking_and_travel
I wholeheartedly recommend these books. Read The Places in Between first.