Sadly disenchanted with the traditional tourist trail, P.J. O'Rouke has chose to visit those destinations that feature all too rarely in travel brochers, largely because they are in a perpetual state of war, revolution or shortage of everything from hot dogs to toilet paper.
From Europe in the protest-packed weeks after the F-111s made that night light to Tripoli and Chernobyl did its bit for the European health and fitness, America's master merrymaker set out for Lebanon (where water skiers don't worry about the snipers because their aim's so bad) and Poland (where a small ad offered to exchange a two-bedroom apartment in Warsaw for a sleeping bag in New York).
He went to sea (aboard the press boat "Sea Chunder") to watch the America's Cup, spent Christmas in El Salvador, and managed to bring back front-ish line reports from such newsworthy landfalls as the Sandinistas' Magagua, the post-Marcos Philippines, Korea, South Africa and Northern Ireland.
Setting out to prove that a real patriot can find his fun at home as well as abroad, he reports back on the 350th anniversary celebrations at Harvard ("the home of American ideas . . .well, somebody has to take the blame for them") and a weekend in North Carolina with the born again Christians ("we came to scoff but went away converted . . .Satanisim").
Well, what sort of a travel book did you expect from P.J. O'Rourke.