Wade Davis, legendary anthropologist and National Geographic Explorer, is perhaps the most articulate and influential western advocate for the world’s indigenous cultures. Through stunning photographs and evocative stories, he parlays a sense of wonder into passionate concern over the rate at which cultures and languages are disappearing – 50 percent of the world’s 6,000 languages, he says, are no longer taught to children.
Several chapters in The Horse That Leaps Through Clouds chronicles the domination over and demise of indigenous cultures in China, from the tiny Yugur tribe on the edge of the Gobi Desert – and on the brink of extinction – to the Chinese colonization of lands traditionally occupied by Tibetans, Uyghurs and Mongols. My publisher sent Wade Davis an early copy of The Horse That Leaps Through Clouds. Here’s what he had to say about it:
“Following in the footsteps of Baron Carl Gustav Mannerheim, the last Tsarist spy in the so-called Great Game, Tamm has written a grand sweep of a narrative. It combines a long and arduous physical journey – 9 months and 17,000 kilometers from St. Petersburg across the Tibetan Plateau and the Gobi desert to Beijing – with the revelations of high stakes history – espionage in virtually unknown territory in the early years of the twentieth century.
At its core, this is a journey into the soul of the Middle Kingdom, and the roots of modern China. Full of wild characters, harsh geography, and historical surprise, Tamm’s journey reveals him to be at once an intrepid adventurer, fine writer, and discerning historian. Altogether a wonderful book.”
This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 21st, 2010 at 4:39 pm. It is filed under REVIEWS.
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