This book more than any other reflects my career as a roving journalist. (A journalist is a generalist, someone who knows a little about many things but not a lot about any one thing.) It has short chapters based in a variety of settings from around the world.
I investigate such varied topics as polar bears, sex surveys, Shakespeare, South American prisons, fund-raising appeals, and lousy praise music–basically, anything I felt like writing about at the time.
The original book went through a major revision in 2005 as I felt the need to add a section on the “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West.