Books by Jeffrey Tayler

Jeffrey Tayler is a correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly and a contributor to Condé Nast Traveler, Harper’s Magazine, and National Geographic. He has written three books, most recently Glory in a Camel’s Eye. An accomplished linguist, he is fluent in Ru

Released: Feb. 19, 2019

"A breathtaking and occasionally exhausting journey, with candid accounts reported from each stop along the route."
Two experts on Russia team up to travel across that vast nation's 11 time zones, exploring key settlements in depth along the way. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 27, 2009

"Tayler ventures at points into Colin Thubron and Robert Kaplan territory, returning with a satisfying narrative that is of considerable interest to students of contemporary events, and futurists too."
A closely observed memoir of travels through Central Asia, where portents of continent-wide conflict loom. Read full book review >
Released: July 11, 2006

"An evocative glimpse of an isolated, seldom visited part of Russia, though its depiction of volatile drunks in a bleak landscape does no favors for the Siberian tourist industry."
After 11 years in Moscow, American journalist Tayler took a river trip through Russia's Siberian hinterlands, encountering a punishing climate and plentiful nostalgia for the communist past. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 15, 2005

"Moreover, Angry Wind merits a solid audience at the African desks of Western intelligence agencies. There's trouble brewing in the Sahel, Tayler warns: Don't say no one told you so."
An often scintillating if sometimes sluggish tour of the western Sahel, that narrow coast of dry land between the Central African rainforest and the oceanic Sahara. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 2, 2001

"A voyage fit only for lunatics. In terms of achievement, Tayler could as easily have played Russian roulette."
A dangerous and self-indulgent journey up and down the Congo River: thankfully, travel-writer Tayler (Siberian Dawn, 1999) comes in the end to understand it as such. Read full book review >
SIBERIAN DAWN by Jeffrey Tayler
Released: Feb. 1, 1999

A young American's encounters with arctic cold, violent vodka-induced drunkenness, unknown levels of radiation, and mafia-ruled hinterland cities reveal the bleak and desperate side of life in the post-Communist Soviet states. Inspired by his love of Russian culture and finding himself at loose ends in Moscow, Tayler decided in 1993 to cross the entire landmass of Russia. Naively enthusiastic, yet ill-equipped and underprepared, the young American started out on a perilous journey from the desolate byways of the Russian Far East, across Siberia and the Urals, to the Polish-Ukrainian border. The journey embodies both a personal quest and a search for the heart of Russia. Tayler explains, "I wanted to fuse my fate with the country's in a crucible of my own making." And a crucible it was. Against the odds of inadequate equipment, incredible coldness, unwise decisions, and the constant threat of violence in Russia's depressed provinces, Tayler survived the solo journey. He describes his travels by bus, train, truck, and car, his fleeting friendships and sometimes violent encounters with almost uniformly desperate men and women, the astonishing changes in weather and landscape in this vast region, and the physical state of Russia's hinterlands, including its environmental devastation—none of which is uplifting. The harrowing stories he shares about life in Russia's desolate hinterland sharpen our understanding of Russia's past and present with their unforgettable details: cockroaches emerging from hosts' wallpaper and ceilings during a meal, scary confrontations with several of Russia's drunks that lead to exchanges of words and blows, and the filth and dangers of life in polluted Chelyabinsk, the once-thriving center of the Soviet nuclear and defense industries. By the trip's end, it's a toss-up who is more relieved to cross the Polish border, Tayler or his reader. Graphically describes the deeply disturbing state of the "new" Russia and its demoralized citizens. Read full book review >