Crossed Off the Map
Travels in Bolivia
Blending travel writing, history and reportage, Crossed off the Map: Travels in Bolivia journeys from the Andes to the Amazon to explore Bolivia’s turbulent past and contemporary challenges. It tells the story of the country’s profound and unexpected influence on the wider world over the last 500 years – fragments of history largely forgotten beyond its borders. Once home to one of the wealthiest cities on Earth, Bolivia kickstarted globalisation, helped to power Europe’s economic growth and trigger dynastic collapse in China, and played host to everyone from Che Guevara to Butch Cassidy.
The book also explores how ordinary Bolivians in and around the world’s highest city, largest salt flat, richest silver mine and most biodiverse national park are coping with some of the touchstone issues of the 21st century: the climate emergency, populism, mass migration, indigenous rights, national identity, rapid urbanisation, and the ‘war on drugs’.
In its pages, award-winning journalist and travel writer Shafik Meghji illuminates the dramatic landscapes, distinct cultures and diverse peoples of a country that – in the words of one interviewee – ‘was the building block of the modern world, but is now lost in time’.
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‘Meghji skilfully unveils the layers of this complex society with candour and a warm curiosity. It makes you want to get on the next flight to Bolivia.’ Noo Saro-Wiwa, author of Looking for Transwonderland
'Shafik Meghji is a natural travel writer with a ready mastery of history, anecdote and atmosphere, and 'Crossed off the Map' is the best sort of travel book – an informed and informative portrait of Bolivia that doubles as a vicarious journey for readers on an epic scale, through high mountains, across the altiplano and into deep tropical forests.'
Tim Hannigan, author of The Travel Writing Tribe
Shafik Meghji is an award-winning travel writer, journalist and author based in South London. Specialising in Latin America and South Asia, he has co-authored more than 40 guidebooks for Rough Guides and DK Eyewitness, and writes for BBC Travel, Wanderlust and Lonely Planet, among others. He is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.