LAB author and award-winning travel writer Shafik Meghji’s new title Crossed Off The Map: Travels in Bolivia will be published by LAB and Practical Action Publishing on 15 March, 2022.
Blending travel writing, history and reportage, Crossed Off The Map journeys from the Andes to the Amazon to explore Bolivia’s turbulent past and contemporary challenges.
It tells the story of the country’s profound and unexpected influence on the wider world over the last 500 years – fragments of history largely forgotten beyond its borders. Once home to one of the wealthiest cities on Earth, Bolivia kickstarted globalisation, helped to power Europe’s economic growth and trigger dynastic collapse in China, and played host to everyone from Che Guevara to Butch Cassidy.
The book also explores how ordinary Bolivians in and around the world’s highest city, largest salt flat, richest silver mine and most biodiverse national park are coping with some of the touchstone issues of the 21st century: the climate emergency, populism, mass migration, indigenous rights, national identity, rapid urbanisation, and the ‘war on drugs’.
Praise for ‘Crossed Off The Map’
– Noo Saro-Wiwa, author of Looking for Transwonderland
– Tim Hannigan, author of The Travel Writing Tribe
– Lyn Hughes, founding editor of Wanderlust
– Sergio Mendoza, journalist for La Nube and Bloomberg News
– Monisha Rajesh, author of Around the World in 80 Trains
About the author
Shafik Meghji is an award-winning travel writer, journalist and author based in South London. Specialising in Latin America and South Asia, he has co-authored more than 40 guidebooks for Rough Guides and DK Eyewitness, and writes for BBC Travel, Wanderlust and Lonely Planet, among others. He is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Prologue: Bolivia does not exist
1. Before Bolivia: Indigenous cultures (Llanos de Moxos, Tiwanaku and Lake Titicaca)
2. The mountain that eats men: Silver, colonialism and globalisation (Potosí)
3. Tin kings and rubber barons: Tin, rubber and tycoons (Oruro, Cochabamba and Trinidad)
4. Flat white: Lithium and salt (Salar de Uyuni and the Reserva Nacional de Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa)
5. Amazon primed: Development projects, ecotourism and the climate crisis (Rurrenabaque, Parque Nacional Madidi and Lago Poopó)
6. The future is behind us: Indigenous identities, migration and urbanisation (La Paz and El Alto)
7. Mission control: The Jesuit legacy in the eastern lowlands (Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Chiquitos)
8. You triumph or you die: Che Guevara (Samaipata, La Higuera and Vallegrande)
9. Coca si: The ‘war on drugs’ and the rise of Evo Morales (The Yungas, the Chapare and Cochabamba)
10. A stampede in Sucre: The past and the future (Sucre)
Crossed Off The Map: Travels in Bolivia is available to pre-order from our partners Practical Action Publishing.
For an exclusive sneak peak, sign up to LAB’s Patreon and read the third issue of Voz, LAB’s quarterly guest-written dispatch, which features an exclusive preview of Crossed Off The Map.