Reviews for No Friends But the Mountains

“Americans discount geography precisely because they have been the beneficiaries of it. People elsewhere know better. Judith Matloff's book is an indefatigable journalistic exploration of how mountains shape, sustain, and even determine war and culture around the world. Her argument, which her reporting makes undeniable, is at once obvious and original.”

Robert D. Kaplan, author of The Revenge of Geography

“In “No Friends But the Mountains,” Judith Matloff has delivered a vital, deeply revealing book of political travelogue and intrepid correspondence. She is the ideal witness - learned, dogged, skeptical, but always listening out for new and credible voices. This is classical international journalism of the highest order.”

Steve Coll, dean of the Columbia Graduate School and staff writer for The New Yorker

“A fascinating, informative and compassionate tour of some of the world's more scenic and rarefied trouble spots....Matloff is a skilled and courageous journalist adept at sketching the realities.”

Times Literary Supplement (full review)

“Brave, engaging, keenly observant...Matloff reveals the rich, surprising, and perplexing life of places too often diminished by the flat imagery of war.”

Sheri Fink, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Five Days at Memorial and War Hospital

“Told with a sense of drama by someone who has clearly done her fieldwork.”

Yi-Fu Tuan, author of Romantic Geography

“Vistas, vainglory, vengeance and violence mark Judith Matloff engaging voyage across mountainous terrains.”

David D. Laitin , professor of political science at Stanford University and author of Nations, States and Violence

“impressive and necessary... Matloff approaches her topic with a magic combination of wisdom and empathy, and it is impossible to not be moved.” — Emily Dziuban

Booklist, Starred Review (full review)

“clear, visceral language... Matloff’s investigation is a worthy read for foreign affairs and anthropology buffs alike, and her conclusion provides insight into current global affairs. 10 maps.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review (full review)

“Matloff brings an impressive sensitivity to the genius loci embraced by mountain people, the spirit of place, the imagination to endow a mountain with personality: the sacredness of Fuji, the devilry of Etna.”

Peter Lewis, The Christian Science Monitor, March 10, 2017 (full review)

“chillingly enlightening...”

Geographical Magazine, March 2017 (full review)

“A tightly focused study of mountain societies that hints at future conflicts.”

KIRKUS REVIEWS (full review)

“This accessible read will appeal to those interested in geography's ability to alter the course of human events as well as its role in explaining global trends.”

Library Journal, March 15, 2017

"Judging by Judith Matloff ’s boldness, adept dealings with objective danger, and handling of high-pressure moments, if she was a mountaineer she’d probably have a golden ice axe. As it is she has a very good book to her name."

The Alpine Journal 2017 (full review)