The World's Most Dangerous Places

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Robert Young Pelton's The World's Most Dangerous Places
Author Robert Young Pelton
Country United States
Language English
Genre Guide book, War tourism[1]
Publisher HarperResource
Publication date
1st edition 1994
4th edition (May 30, 2000)
5th edition (April 1, 2003)
Media type Print
Pages 1088
ISBN 0-06-001160-2
Followed by DP Professional Strength

The World's Most Dangerous Places is handbook of survival tactics for high-risk regions first published in 1994, written by National Geographic Adventure columnist Robert Young Pelton and his contributors.[2] The guide is now in its fifth edition.[3]


The first edition came out in 1994 and has gone through five editions. The next edition is in development along with a new television series.[citation needed]

The 1,000-page book is divided into three basic parts. The intro is a primer on the basics of staying safe in war zones and high-crime areas.

Section Notes
What is Dangerous General travel statistics that help tourists assess their travel risks and put things into perspective.
What Danger Awaits the Weary Traveler Teaches you about the safest mode of transport statistically, including third world airplanes, buses, trains and taxis.
Making the Best of Nasty Situation Including dealing with terrorist territories, thievery, impoverished countries, political upheaval and more.
Business Travelers Dangerous places for business travel and dealings with gangsters.
Tourists Dangerous places for tourists.
Bribes When to, when not to and how to.
Dangerous Diseases Covers STDs and AIDS, malaria, worms, Hepatitis A, B and C, the fevers, old fashioned diseases and more.
Drugs Covers cocaine, heroin, cannabis and dangerous drug hotspots.
Dangerous Jobs self-explanatory[vague].
Getting Arrested. self-explanatory[vague].
Guns covers different types of weapons.
Intelligence Safety information for journalists and writers as well as the traveling public.
Kidnapping Security resources and kidnap, rescue and extortion insurance.
Land Mines/UXO A chapter about landmines and unexploded ordnance.
Mercenaries Hiring them, using them and surviving them
Military and Paramilitary Organizations dealing with military rule[vague].
Terrorism Staying as safe as possible in terrorist situations.
Adventure Calls Adventures[vague]

The second section is essentially a chapter by chapter list of what Pelton considers to be the most dangerous places, such as the United States (which has consistently been included due to its extremely high level of gun violence). Each nation or Autonomous administrative division(s), such as Kurdistan, has one chapter about them. Each of the chapters are in alphabetic order by the first letter of each country. There are varying numbers of countries included in the Dangerous Places section, depending on the edition. These countries are assigned a rating of 5 stars to 1 star, or five hands to one hand, depending on the level and type of danger. Countries with "hands" instead of stars, such as North Korea,[4] and Myanmar[5] generally have International sanctions on them.

The final and third element of this book (besides web links, addresses and even cell phone numbers for terrorist and rebel leaders) are the stories of what it is like for Pelton and his band of DP'ers to be in the middle of some of the planet's most brutal events. They freely tell the reader how they got in, whom they met and many of their failures.

The book is a favorite of correspondents, military, NGO's, and the US State Department; it is used by a number of intelligence agencies due to its access to the world's rebel groups.


  • Robert Young Pelton. Licensed to Kill, Hired Guns in the War on Terror (Reprint edition (August 28, 2007) ed.). Three Rivers Press. p. 368. ISBN 1-4000-9782-7. 
  • Robert Young Pelton. The World's Most Dangerous Places (April 1, 2003 ed.). Collins. p. 1088. ISBN 0-06-001160-2. 
  • Robert Young Pelton. The Adventurist, My Life In Dangerous Places (June 19, 2001 ed.). Broadway. p. 268. ISBN 0-7679-0576-8. 
  • Robert Young Pelton. Hunter Hammer and Heaven, Journeys to Three World's Gone Mad (January 1, 2002 ed.). The Lyons Press. p. 320. ISBN 1-58574-416-6. 
  • Robert Young Pelton. Come Back Alive (June 1, 1999 ed.). Main Street Books. p. 304. ISBN 0-385-49566-8. 
  • Robert Young Pelton. Hired Guns (June 28, 2007 ed.). Constable and Robinson. p. 320. ISBN 1-84529-590-0. 
  • The Best American Travel Writing
  • Best Adventure and Travel Stories
  • Robert Young Pelton; Mark Bowden; Tracy Kidder; Philip Taubman; Jeff Stein; Tim O'Brien. Nate Hardcastle; Clint Willis, eds. American Soldier: Stories of Special Forces from Iraq to Afghanistan (First Edition (October 27, 2002) ed.). Da Capo Press. p. 364. ISBN 1-56025-438-6. 
  • Boots on the Ground
  • Robert Young Pelton. Fielding's Hot Spots, Travel in Harm's Way (December 1997 ed.). Fielding Worldwide. p. 256. ISBN 1-56952-166-2. 
  • Robert Young Pelton. Fielding's Borneo: The Adventurous Guide to the Island of Borneo Covering Brunei, Kalimantan, Sabah and Sarawak/1995 (Fielding's Borneo) (June 1995 ed.). Fielding Worldwide. p. 704. ISBN 1-56952-026-7. 
  • Robert Young Pelton. Three Worlds Gone Mad: Dangerous Journeys through the War Zones of Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific (First edition (December 1, 2003) ed.). The Lyons Press. p. 320. ISBN 1-59228-100-1. 


  1. ^ "Robert Young Pelton". PBS. 2004-03-24. Retrieved 2009-04-08. His New York Times bestseller, The World's Most Dangerous Places, is an underground classic in the CIA 
  2. ^ "Come Back Alive". Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  3. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Pelton, Robert, "Worlds Most Dangerous Places: 4th Edition", Harper Collins Publisher, 2000, p.717
  5. ^ Pelton, Robert, "Worlds Most Dangerous Places: 4th Edition", Harper Collins Publisher, 2000, p.679

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