Shadow of the Silk Road

Shadow of the Silk Road

Book - 2006
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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 Road is a brilliant account of an ancient world in modern ferment.
Publisher: London, Eng. : Chatto & Windus, c2006
ISBN: 9780701173630
Branch Call Number: 915.8 THU
Characteristics: 363 p. : maps ; 25 cm


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PimaLib_MaryG Aug 16, 2016

A modern journey tracing the Silk Road west from China to Turkey. Fascinating and insightful.

Dec 04, 2012

The Shadow of the Silk Road --- by Colin Thubron --- The Silk Road linked China with Turkey and the West. It has existed since time immemorial. It was not one road. Rather It’s was a series of routes much like a skein of yarn. Along it moved gold and silver and wool from Europe and silk and lacquer ware and knowledge from the Orient. Along its paths flowed traders, bandits and holy men. But today it is a mere remnant it its former dimensions. Long ago ships plying the oceans stole much of the Road’s trade. And what is left is a tale of drought and decay; grit and sand; enmity and oppression. Thubron engages himself in a voyage along this road, not in luxury but in the way that the people of the Road themselves would travel. His is the story of the voyage along that Road. This is volume not oft encountered. Read on in history and fleeting encounters with the inhabitants of the Silk Road.

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