Jill Lawless arrived in Mongolia in the late 1990s to find a country waking from centuries of isolation, at once rediscovering its heritage as a nomadic and Buddhist society and simultaneously discovering the western world. The result is a land of fascinating, bewildering contrasts: a vast country where nomadic herders graze their sheep and yaks on the steppe, it also has one of the worlds highest literacy levels and a burgeoning high-tech scene. While trendy teenagers rollerblade amid the Soviet apartment blocks of Ulaanbaatar and dance to the latest pop music in nightclubs, and the rich drive Mercedes and surf the Internet, more than half the population still lives in felt tents, scratching out a living in one of the worlds harshest landscapes. This is a funny and revealing portrait of a beautiful, troubled country.

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