Summary The River at the Center of the World A Journey Up the Yangtze Back in Chinese Time BY Simon Winchester

characters The River at the Center of the World A Journey Up the Yangtze Back in Chinese Time

E outside world through its nearly 1000 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 i. I m not always a fan of Winchester s style but this book remains my favorite in his extensive bibliography Drawn to the beauty of Ten thousand li a stunning 53 foot scroll by Wang Hui Winchester decides to delve deeper into the massive Yangtze for his next book He works his way along the length of the river in reverse from its mouth at the South China Sea to the looming plateaus of Tibet where the river begins The history and geography of the Yangtze unfolds beautifully punctuated with Winchester s personal anecdotes about what he calls the delicious strangeness of China The book was written in 1996 and the ruminations about the Three Gorges Dam now complete are interesting to digest in retrospect While the book does not paint a thorough narrative of modern China it is a well researched fascinating way to discover the tangled mass of culture people and geography along the Yangtze s edge

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The River at the Center of the World A Journey Up the Yangtze Back in Chinese Time

Rising from the mountains of the Tibetan border the river that is the symbolic heart of China courses through 3900 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 th. I read a previous book by this author which I enjoyed so I decided to try another and I m glad I did He travels up the Yangtze in this from the ocean to close to its source a bit short of 4000 miles He uses various forms of transport and the travels are interesting However this is not really a travel book per se This is far a journey through China s history really I d confess to being less than knowledgeable on this subject However this is written in a very accessible way and I enjoyed most of it Much of it relates to Imperialism generally that of China but also that of nations that sought to exploit China It also looks at some issues where China is the one who exploits This would include subjects such as Tibet and the Three Gorges dam so there is balance thereIf I were being picky I d say I d have liked some photographs though it might have been difficult to get them he is often out of bounds Eually the very small maps at the start of each chapter were too small to see never mind make sense of Happily recommended to anyone who this interests though

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N 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 enchantin. I wanted to punch this author repeatedly over the course of the book Two stars only because it had a lot of good information but I ll never be reading another Simon Winchester book again Freaking jerk


10 thoughts on “The River at the Center of the World A Journey Up the Yangtze Back in Chinese Time

  1. says:

    At over 3900 miles long the Yangtze is the river that divides China South of the river is the rice growing part of China and north of it wheat is grown But this divide also brings together the nation as it supports millions of people livelihoods and hold the keys to some of China's earliest archaeology and historyStarting at the mouth of the river in the city of Shanghai Winchester and his companion Lily travel throug

  2. says:

    This was a disappointing book Like the tributaries of the Yangtze multiple disciplines feed into the narrative geography geology sociology politics commerce and history Winchester admits at the outset that he had difficulty finding a unifying theme for his ungainly collection of material Like the irregular rapids and currents my interest was engaged only intermittently Winchester's journey begins in Shanghai where the

  3. says:

    I read a previous book by this author which I enjoyed so I decided to try another and I'm glad I did He travels up the Yangtze in this from the ocean to close to its source a bit short of 4000 miles He uses various forms of transport and the travels are interesting However this is not really a travel book per se This is far a journey through China's history really I'd confess to being less than knowledgeable on this subject Howe

  4. says:

    For someone who lived in Hong Kong for years speaks Mandarin and wrote this 400 page tome about his voyage up the length of the Yangtze author Simon Winchester doesn't like China very much He sees Shanghai as a crassly commercial whorehouse Wuhan as too polluted Chonging as ugly and most of the villages he encoun

  5. says:

    Inspired by Ten Thousand Li up the Yangzi River by Wang Hui a 53 foot long scroll painting Winchester decides to travel from mouth to source of the Yangtze River a journey of some 3900 milesThe trip was undertaken mid 90's which is relevant for the water levels and accessibility of the river as the Three gorge

  6. says:

    I’m not always a fan of Winchester’s style but this book remains my favorite in his extensive bibliography Drawn to the beauty of Ten thousand li a stunning 53 foot scroll by Wang Hui Winchester decides to delve deeper into the massive Yangtze for his next book He works his way along the length of the river i

  7. says:

    I wanted to punch this author repeatedly over the course of the book Two stars only because it had a lot of good information but I’ll never be reading another Simon Winchester book again Freaking jerk

  8. says:

    Fabulous fascinating once of the most in depth intriguing travelogues I have read If one day someone asks me if

  9. says:

    Terrific book his travel writing is uite funny in a dry British way and the history is well presented with only a few patches to skim through

  10. says:

    Simon Winchester is one of my favorite authors especially his geological themed ones Krakatoa The Map that Changed the World and Cra

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