For more than half way through this book reads like an extended National Geographic article. That is, the author traveled through Kurdistan talking to and interviewing people and reports back on those conversations and interviews focusing mostly on cultural matters. That is not uninteresting. As a matter of fact, I do read National Geographic now and then even if not every month. It just is not anything spectacular. That means that for the most of the time I spent reading this book I thought I was going to give it three stars. Simple travelogs just don't rate more than that to me. However, sometime well after half the book was through, but not so far past the halfway mark that it is insignificant, the focus turned to the oppression that the Kurds suffer under and their fightback. That is, it became much more political and political from a rebellious, if not revolutionary, perspective. That is of considerable more interest to me than a travelog and I became inclined to rate it four stars. Unfortunately, the four star rating was weighed down by the rather long travelog section of the book. That means that on the whole I wanted to rate it somewhere between three and four stars, but I had to choose between one or the other. After some consideration I decided that it leaned more toward four rather than three stars, but only barely.