Despite imprecise designations and frequent repetition this trip is less condescending than some of the author's previous reports. The geographical data incorporates bits of modern history, climate, problems (landlocked nation, no railroads, low literacy --several times) and an invigorating depiction of ""dragging the goat,"" a horseback celebration eld on the king's birthday. Extended if simplified consideration of populations, somewhat patronizing toward nomadic bands, somewhat off-focus on details (e.g. the kariz irrigation system is not indigenous to Afghanistan, as implied, but common throughout the Middle East). A visit, not a book to live with.