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The Silk Road

Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia

Frances Wood (Author)

Available in US and Territ, Canada, SAmerica

Paperback, 270 pages
ISBN: 9780520243408
September 2004
$30.95
The Silk Road, a series of ancient trade routes stretching across Central Asia to Europe, evokes exotic images of camel trains laden with bales of fine Chinese silk, spices, and perfume, of desert oases surrounded by snow-capped mountains, of bustling markets thronging with travellers buying and selling grapes, coriander, Baltic amber, and Mediterranean coral. Along this route, silks were sent from China to ancient Rome; princesses were dispatched in marriage alliances across the deserts; bandits and thieves launched attacks throughout history.

Covering more than 5,000 years, this book, lavishly illustrated with photographs, manuscripts, and paintings from the collections of the British Library and other museums worldwide, presents an overall picture of the history and cultures of the Silk Road. It also contains many previously unpublished photographs by the great explorers Stein, Hedin, and Mannerheim.

More than just a trade route, the Silk Road witnessed the movement of cultural influences. Frances Wood traces the story of the civilizations and ideas that flourished and moved along its vast geographical expanse. Indian Buddhism was carried into China on the Silk Road, initiating a long history of pilgrimages along the lonely desert routes; Manichaeism, Nestorian Christianity, and Islam also made their way eastwards along its route.

The nineteenth century saw a new interest in Central Asia and the Silk Road, as Russia and Britain vied for power on the frontiers of Afghanistan. A new breed of explorer, part archaeologist, part cartographer, part spy, was seen on the Silk Road, while some of the ancient cities, long buried in sand-blown dunes, began to give up their secrets. This book brings the history of the Silk Road alive--from its beginnings to the present day, revealing a rich history still in the making.
Frances Wood is Head of the Chinese section at The British Library. Her previous publications include Did Marco Polo Go To China? (1995), No Dogs and Not Many Chinese: Treaty Port Life in China 1843-1943 (1998), Hand Grenade Practice in Peking: My Part in the Cultural Revolution (2000), and Blue Guide to China (revised edition, 2002).
“The book is written so well, contains so many interesting details, and is so lavishly illustrated, that it is impossible to put down.”—Choice: Current Reviews For Academic Libraries
"A beautifully rendered tribute to the thousands of years in which these routes served as the center of trade. . . . This is a rich, and richly illustrated, history.”—Publishers Weekly
"A splendidly illustrated history of the route along which East met West. It will look nice on the coffee table, but this is one gift book that may actually get read."—Charles Matthews Easton Express-Times (Pa)
"A splendidly illustrated history of the route along which East met West. It will look nice on the coffee table, but this is one gift book that may actually get read."—Charles Matthews Gainesville Sun (Fl)
“The Silk Road is as beautiful as we imagine the trip itself to be. . . . It is fascinating history.”—Dan R. Barber Dallas Morning News
"Frances Wood writes authoritatively and colorfully about an exotic part of the world of keen contemporary interest"—Fredric Koeppel Memphis Commercial Appeal
"A splendidly illustrated history of the route along which East met West. It will look nice on the coffee table, but this is one gift book that may actually get read."—Charles Matthews Yakima Herald-Republic (Wa)
"A splendidly illustrated history of the route along which East met West. It will look nice on the coffee table, but this is one gift book that may actually get read."—Charles Matthews Visalia Times-Delta (Ca)
“Wood does justice to the works she draws on.”—Albert E. Dien The International History Review
"A splendidly illustrated history of the route along which East met West. It will look nice on the coffee table, but this is one gift book that may actually get read."—Charles Matthews North Port Sun (Fl)
"A splendidly illustrated history of the route along which East met West. It will look nice on the coffee table, but this is one gift book that may actually get read."—Charles Matthews Poughkeepsie Journal (Ny)
"A splendidly illustrated history of the route along which East met West. It will look nice on the coffee table, but this is one gift book that may actually get read."—Charles Matthews Pueblo Sunday Chieftan & Star-Journal (Co)
"A splendidly illustrated history of the route along which East met West. It will look nice on the coffee table, but this is one gift book that may actually get read."—Charles Matthews Shreveport Times
"The Silk Road—copiously illustrated, as befits its Folio Society origins—is a fine introduction to a world about which most Westerners know only the legend."—Fergus Fleming Times Literary Supplement (TLS)
"A splendidly illustrated history of the route along which East met West. It will look nice on the coffee table, but this is one gift book that may actually get read."—Charles Matthews San Jose Mercury News
"Comprehensive and lavishly illustrated."—Ann Geracimos Washington Times

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