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Reports from a Citizen of the World

Far & Away: How Travel Can Change the World (Chatto & Windus, 2017).

by Michael Kerr

I was reading the introduction to this book while Theresa May was telling the Tory Party conference: “If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere.” Andrew Solomon would argue otherwise. He holds both American and British passports. He is a firm believer that it’s not only possible to be a citizen of the world but essential, and that travel, which forms the well-rounded citizen, should be encouraged as energetically as attendance at school, environmental conservation and national thriftiness. Especially now…

[T]his is a fine collection from a gifted writer and a wise and empathetic traveller. Best of all, perhaps, is that 45-page introduction, which he rewrote in response to the result of the United Kingdom’s referendum on membership of the European Union…. In that introduction, Solomon argues powerfully against circling the wagons, and for engagement and reciprocity: “You can’t fit in with people by pretending to be just like they are; you fit in by engaging in a dialogue about your differences, and by putting aside the assumption that your way of life is in any way preferable to theirs.”

(To read the full review, please visit Deskbound Traveller.)