While I have watched many an episode of "Rick Steves' Europe," I have not read any of his books before this. "Travel as a Political Act" speaks to something I have been saying for many years: travel broadens who you are as a person.In this book, Steves talks about becoming a "temporary local" and interacting with the people of the country one visits instead of interacting solely with the cultural exhibits. Steves says (and my experience bears out) that it's the surest way to obtain an improved understanding of the locale -- and of your own culture to boot. Traveling within one's own country offers similar opportunities to get to know the attitudes and culture of a different region.In the last chapter, Steves talks about ways to take your improved understanding to the ballot box and beyond. There is a lot to consider in this small book. I think that it would be of benefit to all travelers to examine this book not only as the entertaining volume that it is but as an opportunity for enrichment prior to going abroad.