“A rich tapestry of narratives,” says Uyghur human rights activist

“Tamm’s writing deftly conveys readers from 1906 to 2006, from St. Petersburg to Beijing, intertwining his own experiences with those of Mannerheim,” writes Amy Reger, a Uyghur human rights activist in a book review in the Asia Sentinel. “His prose and dry wit, which earned him the 2011 Ottawa Book Award for Non-fiction, sustains readers masterfully through a grand scope of nearly 500 pages,”

The Horse that Leaps Through Clouds,” she concludes, “goes far beyond clichéd notions of the Silk Road and the modern rise of China, and imparts to readers a discerning look into the marginalized people and groups living on the geographical and economic edges of Chinese society. The book is unique in its understanding of the methods of control used by paranoid leaders attempting to maintain power in the face of myriad forms of discontent. The travels and observations of both Tamm and Mannerheim outline the mundane difficulties and the more agitated discord created by regimes slow to embrace political reform but, in China’s case at least, experiencing tumultuous economic reforms. It is left to the reader to predict whether or not the side effects of Beijing’s reticence to embrace fundamental reforms will take cues from history, and how those living on China’s periphery will react to continued pressure from above.”

Click here to read the full review.