Rising from the mountains of the Tibetan border, the river that is the symbolic heart of China courses through 3,900 miles of rugged country before emerging into the oily swells of the East China Sea. Connecting China’s heartland cities with the volatile coastal giant, Shanghai, the Yangtze has throughout history also linked China to the outside world through its nearly 1,000 miles of navigable waters. To travel those waters is to travel back in history, to sense the soul of China, and Simon Winchester takes us with him as he encounters the essence of the nation—its history and politics, its geography and climate.
He engages with the country’s culture and its people in remote and almost inaccessible places. Winchester recalls his passionate exploration of the countryside— employing nearly every mode of transportation, including boat, train, jeep and shoe leather—while providing important and engaging historical information. This is travel writing at its best: lively, informative and thoroughly enchanting.
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A stunning tour of China, its people, and its history. Chosen as one of the best travel books of 1996 by the New York Times Book Review.
British born author Simon Winchester lived in Hong Kong before setting off on a journey up the Chang Jiang or Yangtze River as it is most often referred to in the West. In The River at the Center of the World: A Journey Up the Yangtze and Back in Chinese Time, he chronicles his adventures across China along the 3,964-mile River. Employing nearly every mode of transportation--including boat, train, jeep and shoe leather--Winchester recalls his passionate exploration of the countryside, while providing important and engaging historical information. His recollections of the Chinese people are often less complimentary, as he exudes an air of disgust at the country's apparent disregard for pollution, its awkward modern architecture and decaying historical monuments.
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