Shadow of the Silk Road

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Vintage Books, 2007 - 363 Seiten
There was never one Silk Road -- but several. The route chosen by Colin Thubron passes through China, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey, taking in the most sterile desert on earth (the Taklamakan) and the strife-torn mountain valleys of today's conflicts, as he travels from the tomb of the Yellow Emperor (the mythic progenitor of the Chinese people) to the ancient port of Antioch, by local bus, truck, car -- occasionally Landrover, horse or camel. He covers 7,000 miles in 8 months, and confesses that it is the most difficult, complex and ambitious journey he has undertaken in 40 years of travel. The Silk Road is a huge network of arteries and veins, splitting and converging across the breadth of Asia. Chinese silk has turned up in the hair of a 10th-century-BC Egyptian mummy; equally, the tartan plaids of 3000-year-old mummies in the Chinese desert echo those of early Celts. To be travelling the Silk Road, writes Colin Thubron, is to be travelling the history of the world: tracing the passage not just of trade and armies, but of ideas, religions and inventions. Yet -- despite the lure of the history -- this book is as much about Asia today. Its themes include different Islams (oppressed in China; fervent in Afghanistan and Iran; cautiously monitored in Uzbekistan); contrast (no cities could be more different than ancient Samarkand and modern Teheran); and the way that today's borders are meaningless because the true boundaries are made by tribe, ethnicity, language and religion. Shadow of the Silk Roadis a brilliant account of an ancient world in modern ferment. From the Hardcover edition.

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LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - theonearmedcrab - LibraryThing

Colin Thubron went back to cross from China via Central Asia and Afghanistan to Iran and Eastern Turkey, to travel the ancient Silk Road. He published “Shadow of the Silk Road” in 2006, the book, but ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - bookwoman247 - LibraryThing

From Xian, China, to Antakya, (Antioch), Turkey, Thubron traced the footsteps of ancient traders and legendary explorers as he traveled the fabled Silk Road. I have to say, this is one of the best ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

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Über den Autor (2007)

Colin Thubron is an acknowledged master of travel writing, and the winner of many prizes and awards. His first writing was about the Middle East - Damascus, Lebanon and Cyprus. In 1982 he travelled into the Soviet Union in an ancient Morris Marina, pursued by the KGB, a journey he recorded in Among the Russians. From these early experiences developed his classic travel books: Behind the Wall (winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Thomas Cook Travel Award), The Lost Heart of Asia, In Siberia (Prix Bouvier), Shadow of the Silk Road and To a Mountain in Tibet (all available in Vintage). In 2010 Colin Thubron became President the Royal Society of Literature.

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