What is it about mountain communities and cultures that lead to such friction? Judith Matloff’s “No Friends but the Mountains: Dispatches from the World’s Violent Highlands” attempts to shed light on this poignant question. From Albanian blood feuds to Colombian FARC guerilla war, Matloff visits high-altitude warzones not only reporting on the wars but also on the reasons behind why mountain cultures remain the world’s hot spots of conflict.
The Albanian “Cursed” Mountains, the Sierra Madre, the Andes, the Himalayas, the Caucasus, Kashmir, and the Pyrenees and Alps. Take your pick, conflict finds a home in the peaks and gorges of tough country. Isolated regions with ancient legal codes combined with suspicion of the outside world lead to unique cultures that require unique solutions to end these long-running hotspots. Get it, read it.