Barber, Ben. (2014). Ground Truth: Work, Play and Conflict in The Third World. Millbrook, NY: de.MO Design.
Ben Barber visited the third world after college, in the late 1960s and 1970s, as a poet and a traveler from Morocco to India. He studied journalism and returned to the third world in 1980 as a reporter and photographer for The Observer, USA Today, and other papers. Editors pushed him to report on war, disease, conflict, hunger, refugees, and endless tragedy. But he found another side: decent, hard-working, loving, and generous people from Marrakesh to Cairo to Jerusalem to Teheran to Kabul and beyond. This book captures, through Barber’s photos and short stories, the deeper streams of life flowing in countries where the future of our planet is being written. All who seek to avoid future conflicts and to understand these countries will enjoy this book.
From 1994 to 2002 Ben Barber was State Department Bureau Chief for the Washington Times. From 2002 to 2010 he was senior writer at the U.S. Agency for International Development and editor of USAID s newspaper FrontLines. Currently he is a columnist for McClatchy news agency and a consultant on development communications.
Frej, William (2022) Travels Across the Roof of the World: A Himalayan Memoir, George F. Thompson Publications. ISBN: 978-193-808-6939
This award-winning book of 270 color photographs and text in memoir format provides a sweeping yet intimate view of the breathtaking peaks, splendid valleys, and extraordinary people of this vast region, from the Pamir Mountains in Kyrgyzstan through Afghanistan’s fabled Hindu Kush, the Karakoram in Pakistan, and the great Himalaya Range that stretches across northern India, Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan. Unique in scope among photo books on the Himalaya, Travels Across the Roof of the World, chronicles William and Anne Frej’s more than twenty pilgrimages throughout the area spanning forty years and 3,000 miles through some of the world’s most remote-and-difficult to reach country. (Silver Medal, Tokyo International Foto Awards: Silver Medal, Budapest International Foto Awards)
Frej, William (2021) Seasons of Ceremonies: Rites and Rituals in Guatemala and Mexico,. Museum of New Mexico Press. ISBN: 9768-0-89013-668-3
This book, recipient of 14 major photography book awards, including five Photography Book off the Year awards, is a captivating visual record of the rich, still-alive traditions in Mexico and Guatemala conveyed through 240 striking duotone photographs of community events in the region that take place within an annual cycle that refers to its pre-Columbian past, agricultural seasons, and Catholic traditions. An introduction by Anne Frej and essays by Gary Gossen, Nicolasa Chávez, Frine Castillo Badillo and Philip E. Coyle provide details on the celebrations and further illuminage the subjects, providing historical and cultural context on these enduring folk celebrations.
William Frej, a retired Career Minister in the Senior Foreign Service, served at USAID for 24 years. His USAID career began as a Regional Housing and Urban Development Officer in Indonesia and he later served as USAID Mission Director in Poland, Indonesia, Central Asia and Afghanistan. He was Director for Development Issues at the National Security Council in the White House in 2002-2003 and his last assignment was Diplomat in Residence at the Santa Fe Institute 2010-2011.
Frej, William. (2020) Maya Ruins Revisited: In the Footsteps of Teobert Maler (Essays by Stephan Merk and Alma Durán-Merk, Jeremy A. Sabloff and Khristiaan D. Villela). Peyton Wright Publishing.
Maya Ruins Revisited by Bill Frej documents his forty-five year search for remote Maya sites primarily in Guatemala and Mexico, inspired in large part by his discovery of the work of German-Austrian explorer Teobert Maler, who photographed them in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many of Frej’s magnificent photographs are juxtaposed here with historic photographs taken by Maler, and reveal the changes in the landscape that have occurred in the intervening century. This unique pairing of archival material with current imagery of the same locations will be a significant addition to the literature on this ancient civilization that continues to captivate scholars and general readers alike.
The book is currently available for pre-order from the University of Oklahoma Press.
Miller, Daniel. (2008). Dropka: Nomads of the Tibetan Plateau and Himalaya. Boonsboro, MD: Vajra Publications.
Drokpa: Nomads of the Tibetan Plateau and Himalaya, with 108 evocative black and white photographs and insightful text, is a stunning portrait of Tibetan nomads. Known in the Tibetan language as drokpa (highpasture people), an estimated two million Tibetan-speaking nomads are spread over a vast area of the Tibetan Plateau and Himalayan region in Bhutan, China, India and Nepal. Yet we know very little about them. The dropka evoke freedom. Their world cherishes mobility and the liberty to roam in search of grass and water. Constantly exposed to the elements of nature — rain, snowstorms and drought — they take these events for granted and face them with remarkable equanimity. The values of courage, integrity and generosity that we admire are principles instinctive to nomads. They also have an intimate knowledge of their environment and an amazing ability to handle animals, a skill rare among most people today.
Daniel Miller is an FSO with USAID in the Philippines. A rangeland ecologist, he went to Nepal for the first time in 1974, and bought his first camera, a Canon FTb, at that time. For the past 25 years he has worked with nomads in Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, Mongolia, Nepal and Tibet. He still uses a Canon F-1 manual camera. This book can be purchased online at www.blurb. com/user/store/wildyakman. A richly illustrated 2011 Weekly Planner as well as other works by Daniel Miller are also available.
All of Daniel Miller’s books can be purchased at his “bookstore” at http://www.blurb.com/user/store/wildyakman.
Miller, Daniel. (2008). The Ideal Feminine Form in Indian Sculpture. San Francisco, CA: www.blurb.com.
Since ancient times, women have been celebrated in India. The divinity of women has played an important part in Indian culture, symbolizing fertility and the progenitor of life. Female figures, sculpted from rock and possessing an amazing sensuous quality, display the ideal of the Indian woman – large, rounded breasts, broad hips, a slender waist, and well developed thighs with tapering legs. The carvings of the Khajuraho and Konark temples, 10th and 13th centuries, respectively, and the much earlier sculptures at the Sanchi Stupa, are an open-air museum of the ideal female beauty, exhibiting exquisite feminine grace and alluring charm. With this medieval appreciation of the female form, it is ironic that Indians today treat their women and girls so poorly. The evils of illiteracy, ignorance, dowry, and economic slavery continue to haunt women and girls. With 43 black and white images, this collection of photos remind us of the languishing Indian ideal of the female form and the need to restore respect for women again.
Miller, Daniel. (2009). A Sublime Realm: Buddhist Landscapes. San Francisco, CA
From a global environmental perspective, few places in the world are as important as the Tibetan Plateau is now. Rising concerns about global warming, climate change, receding glaciers, desertification, food insecurity and loss of biodiversity all point to the significance of the Tibetan Plateau in addressing these global challenges. With its tenets of compassion and reverence for all sentient beings, Buddhism can be a powerful force for protecting the environment of the Tibetan Plateau. As a first step, we could begin by acknowledging the hallowed nature of the Tibetan landscape and start to treat it with a little more reverence and respect as the Tibetan people have for centuries.
Miller, Daniel. (2009). Auspicious Carpets: Tibetan Rugs and Textiles. San Francisco, CA:
More than just another book on rugs. With evocative images and insightful text it is as much an ethnography of the inhabitants of the Tibetan landscape — the nomads who raise the sheep that produce one of the best carpet wools in the world and the weavers who fashion this wool into textiles and rugs — as it is an introduction to the aesthetics of the Tibetan weaving and textile traditions.
Miller, Daniel. (2009). Tibetan & Himalayan Vignettes. San Francisco, CA:
Miller, Daniel. (2010). Sacred Landscapes. San Francisco, CA:
Daniel Miller first visited Nepal and began trekking in the Himalayan region in 1974. In this collection of 172 black-and-white images spanning 35 years, Miller presents his vision of the “sacred landscape” of this region. Mountains, of course, dominate the landscape and, as Miller writes in his introduction to the book, “It doesn’t take long among these mountains to acquire a sense of the frailty and insignificance of human life.” But it is the people who often generate the most lasting memories. In these photos Miller captures the poise, friendliness and generosity with which they pursue their lives in what most Westerners would consider very difficult conditions. As an ecologist, Miller also focuses on the interactions among vegetation, animals and people on the landscape. Here, the yak is a central feature. And, as Miller says, one cannot travel in the Himalaya and Tibet without also encountering features of Buddhism, from monasteries and their monks to rituals and festivities. All this, too, he captures with his lens.
Miller, Daniel. (2010). Snow Peaks Black Tents. San Francisco, CA
This unusual book, self-published online and available to preview there in full, is a record of the author’s journeys and work among Tibetan-speaking nomads in the Himalaya in Nepal and Bhutan and throughout the Tibetan Plateau region of what is now China. The many, stunning photographs in the book cover a time span of more than three decades and capture a disappearing way of life. They are complemented by an insightful and informative narrative on the nomadic culture.
Miller, Daniel. (2011). Americans in the Philippines 1944-1946. San Francisco, CA
www.blurb.com. ISBN: unknown
Mr. Miller, a USAID FSO, currently lives and works in Manila, Philippines. Previously, he lived and worked in India for over four years and before that in Afghanistan. His work involves designing and managing agriculture, economic growth and rural development projects. His work provides me the opportunity to travel in the Philippines and experience, first hand, the socio-economic challenges facing the island nation. He has worked previously in Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Tibet.
Miller, Daniel. (2011). Searching for Grass and Water: Journeys Among Nomads and Yaks. San Francisco, CA: www.blurb.com.
Miller, Daniel. (2012). India in Black and White. San Francisco, CA: www.blurb.com.
With 120 black and white photos, this book portrays the simple beauty of Buddhist pilgrimage sites, the starkness of the desert landscape of Ladakh, the sensuality of the stone carvings of Khajuraho, and the magnificence of the Taj Mahal. A thought-provoking essay by Cynthia Miller makes one reconsider what it means to be a tourist in India
Miller, Daniel. (2012). Visions of a Nomad. San Francisco, CA: www.blurb.com.
Miller, Daniel. (2014). Tibet’s Last Nomads. San Francisco, CA: www.blurb.com.
In the last quarter century, the nomadic pastoral areas on the Tibetan Plateau have seen far-reaching changes. These changes are radically transforming age-old livestock production methods, land-use practices and the socio-economic fabric of Tibetan society. Chinese authorities, concerned with environmental degradation, are moving nomads out of the grasslands and settling them in towns, but Tibetan nomads are often ill equipped for this new type of existence, lacking the education and skills to find gainful employment. These are important questions that require answers in order to develop the rangelands of the Tibetan Plateau in a sustainable manner and in ways that are sensitive to the needs and desires of the Tibetan nomads.
Miller, Daniel. (2014). Tibetan Nomads. San Francisco, CA: www.blurb.com.
There will be a great and tragic emptiness if the irreplaceable Tibetan nomadic culture is transformed beyond recognition because of inappropriate policies and development interventions. The survival of the Tibetan Plateau environment, with its globally strategic water resources and extensive rangelands providing livelihoods for millions of nomads and farmers depends on greater appreciation of Tibetan nomads and their worldview and a rethinking of current nomad settlement schemes. It also requires new attitudes that view the landscape more holistically, with a greater sense of its intrinsic beauty as well as the economical value of its natural resources.
Miller, Daniel. (2014). Sacred Landscapes. Vajra Publications, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Available at Vajra Books,www.vajrabooks.com.np. ISBN: 978-9937-623-16-2.
SACRED LANDSCAPES is a photographic essay of the hallowed landscape of Nepal, Bhutan, the Tibetan areas of what is now the People’s Republic of China, and northern India. An old Sanskrit proverb states, “A hundred divine epochs would not suffice to describe all the marvels of the Himalaya.” Along this 1,500 mile arc of mountains from the Ladakh region of India in the west, to Bhutan in the east and across the expanse of the Tibetan Plateau, Daniel Miller tells a story in pictures – the grandeur of the mountains, the simple dignity of the people who live there, and the spiritual essence of the landscape. Spanning a period of thirty-five years and covering a broad geographic area, the photographs in Sacred Landscapes provide an unparalleled perspective. With 172 evocative black and white images, this book is a rare visual offering; a sensitive portrait of a sublime realm.
Miller, Daniel (2020) Mongolian Countryside. Publishes in Ulanbattor, Mongolia.
This new book of photographs has text in English and Mongolian. It is 260 pages long including 177 color photographs. Mr. Miller , retired from USAID< is now living in Buffalo, Wyoming.
Miller, Daniel (2022). A Cowboy in Mongolia: In Search of the Sacred in the Steppes: Journeys in the Steppes and Gobi Desert.
This lovely book of photographs with explanatory text is the 16th published by RPCV and range management specialist Daniel Miller, who is currently working in Mongolia as a consultant.
Newton, Alex. (1st ed. 1988, 2nd ed. 1992, 3rd ed. 1995, 4th ed. 1998). West Africa: A Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit. Melbourne, AUS. Lonely Planet Publications. 1st ed.
ISBN: 978-0864420282, 2nd ed. ISBN: 0864421370, ISBN: 3rd ed. ISBN: 0864422946, 4th ed. ISBN: 978-0864425690.
Initially assigned to the Cote d’Ivoire as the Regional Legal Advisor for the 24-country area of West and Central Africa, Newton was startled to learn that the regional mission kept no practical information on file for travelling to those countries. So he began collecting information on the side for his colleagues. After several years, people kept saying he should write a book – so he did, and Lonely Planet took him on. The result was what was to become, as Peace Corps volunteers used to say, the bible for West Africa travel, the first English-language guide to the region. From cosmopolitan Dakar to remote Timbuktu, the 900+-page guide, which Newton has updated thrice over the years during his R&Rs, covers 16 countries, from Nigeria west to Cape Verde, and destinations on and off the tourist trail, accommodation, restaurant, and transportation options for every range of budget, cultural information, and more. It includes a useful language section with glossaries of frequently-used terms in local languages and numerous maps of cities which had not previously been mapped.
Alex Newton, a graduate of Brown University and Duke Law School and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala, worked for USAID in eight countries for over 30 years, serving initially as the Regional Legal Advisor in the Cote d’Ivoire, Ecuador and Bangladesh, where he penned travel guides to all of these areas. He later served as Mission Director in Mali and reached the mandatory retirement age in 2010 while volunteering for service in Afghanistan. Now residing in Madison, Georgia, Newton most recently has been serving as Acting USAID Mission Director during the summers in the DRC and as a consultant to the Mission in Egypt.
Newton, Alex. (1st ed. 1989, 2nd ed. 1994). Central Africa: A Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit. Melbourne, AUS. Lonely Planet Publications. 1st ed.
ISBN: 978-0864420237, 2nd ed. ISBN: 978-0864421388.
Newton penned a similar guide to Central Africa, a region often overlooked by visitors to Africa, combining the best of what East and West Africa has to offer: from the snow-capped Ruwenzori mountain range and flora of the Congo, to the music and arts of Cameroun and some of the continent’s best game parks in the Central African Republic. You can paddle a canoe down a jungle river for weeks on end, hunt with the Pygmies, climb an active volcano, come face-to-face with a mountain gorilla, trek through the snow-capped Mountains of the Moon, join a search for white rhinos, dance all night to Congo music, have a bath on the unique beaches of Sao Tome & Principe. The eight-country guide, from Chad to the Congo, also first-hand tips and advice to help travelers get a feel for the culture and the people of the region. Due to the very limited touristic facilities of the region, Lonely Planet has never re-printed the 2nd, 1994 edition of the guidebook or published a new one. This is why, despite the fact that Newton’s guide is clearly well out of date, it remains the best (and only) English-language guide to the region.
Newton, Alex and Wagenhauser, Betsy. (3rd ed. 1996, 4th ed. 2000). Bangladesh: A Lonely Planet Survival Kit. Melbourne, AUS. Lonely Planet Publications. 3rd ed.
ISBN: 978-0864422965, 4th ed. ISBN: 978-0864426673.
On being assigned to Bangladesh, Alex Newton was almost indignant that the original Lonely Planet guide to Bangladesh was not only woefully skimpy but almost disparaging of the country, making negative comparisons with India throughout the guide. He was also amused that hundreds of thousands of tourists were going to Nepal each year acting as though they were on a real adventure when millions had preceded them. So Newton, who had just bicycled on narrow unmarked paths from Dhaka to Calcutta with his wife Betsy and found the country to be an adventurer’s delight, with no tourists anywhere(!), decided it was time to rectify the situation and contacted Lonely Planet about updating the guide – and they took him on again. As with all Lonely Planet guides, it contains lots of practical advice, including information on transport, first-hand tips to stay healthy, reliable information on where to stay and eat, etc., but also useful information on history and culture. With paved roads everywhere and perfectly flat almost everywhere, Bangladesh is the perfect country for an adventurous biker, and Newton and his wife provide information useful for bikers including suggested bicycle routes. Over double the size of the initial edition, it is still the only guide in English to Bangladesh.
Newton, Alex. (1995). Best Places to Stay in South America. New Jersey. Hunter Publications.
In his extensive wanderings in South America while stationed in Ecuador and acting as the region’s sole Regional Legal Advisor, Alex Newton discovered that one of the highlights of traveling around South America was the opportunity to stay at an array of fascinating hotels. In doing so, he found that guidebooks’ descriptions of lodgings were vague and neutral, making it difficult to choose one over another. What followed was the inspiration for this guide. From 17th century haciendas, charming small hotels, and rustic fishing lodges, Newton selected accommodations that stand out from the rest. While many modern establishments are included, he admits to a penchant for older hotels that have character. In some cases, it may be the exceptional service; in others, the history or architecture. Sometimes it’s the “feel” of the lobby or communal rooms, or the “character” of the owners themselves. The guide covers the western half of South America (Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia), with drawings of many of the chosen hotels, the great majority of which remain essentially as they were 20 years ago when Newton penned the guide.
Kathleen Vitale and Paul Vitale (2018), Sheer Elegance: Surviving Strands of Ancient Maya Weaving. ETD (73 minutes).
This final culmination of the Vitales exploration of remaining Mayan weavers of translucent textiles. Available online at https://youtu.be/mYHXLLg8fkM.
Kathleen Vitale with Paul Vitale. (2005). Splendor in the Highlands: Maya Weavers of Guatemala, ETD (27 minutes):
With brilliant colors and intimate views, textile scholar, author and anthropologist Margot Blum Schevill introduces us to 22 Guatemalan weavers and their weaving styles and techniques.
In 2004, Kathleen and her husband, Paul, started the nonprofit, Endangered Threads Documentaries (ETD), to record indigenous weaving in Guatemala. Kathleen is its CEO and documentarian. After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador in the sixties, she and family lived for ten years in Ecuador, Brazil and Peru while Paul worked for USAID. In the states she became an award winning journalist, photographer and publication editor retiring from IBM in 2000. After retirement Kathleen started her career as a documentarian developing two art documentaries associated with the Museum of Art at the University of Oregon. For more information on Endangered Threads Documentaries and to purchase videos, go to: endangeredthreads.org.
Kathleen Vitale with Paul Vitale (2007) A Century of Color: Maya Weaving & Textiles, ETD, (53 minutes):
Surveys 100 years of continuity and change in Maya weaving and textiles of Guatemala with stunning examples of blouses, skirts, belts, hair ribbons, men’s wear, ikat and embroidery.
Kathleen Vitale with Paul Vitale. (2009). Manuela and Esperanza: The Art of Maya Weaving, ETD, (29 minutes):
Enter into the lives of two accomplished Maya weavers as they accept the challenge of weaving traditional blouses or huipiles in less than 90 days, from the purchase of threads to the last stitch.
Kathleen Vitale with Paul Vitale (2010). Saving the Weavers: Small Assistance Projects for Maya Women in the Highlands of Guatemala. ETD. (43 minutes):
Meet ten extraordinary people who have dedicated years of their lives to helping Maya women devastated by the 36-year Guatemalan Civil War, and learn about the assistance programs they set up.
Kathleen Vitale with Paul Vitale. Sheer Elegance: Surviving Strands of Ancient Maya Weaving (Project under development).
Sheer woven cloth (based on finely spun thread and a balanced, spaced weave) with brocaded decorations was only one of many weaving styles practiced by ancient Maya weavers. This documentary will highlight weavers who continue to practice such a style in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, and Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas, Mexico, and will discuss the style’s probable roots as found on Classic Maya pottery and murals, and in archeological finds.