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The Emperor's River: Travels to the Heart of a Resurgent China Paperback – July 9, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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$10.66 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A moving and chilling book. Let us hope there are many more to come.”  —Times on Green Dragon, Sombre Warrior


“Historical insights, Chinese mythologies, modern commentaries are all deftly interwoven with the narrative of his own odyssey. D’Arcy-Brown has penned a perceptive portrait of modern China in all its bewildering diversity. . . . he has captured its soul.”  —Stanley Stewart, author, In the Empire of Genghis Khan on Green Dragon, Sombre Warrior

About the Author

Liam D'Arcy-Brown is the author of Green Dragon, Sombre Warrior.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Eye Books (July 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903070708
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903070703
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,113,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David I. Cahill on June 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The idea of devoting a book not just to the history of China's Grand Canal but to its present state is a good idea, and I'm surprised no one else has done it (at least in English). It often takes foreigners to actually view Chinese history as something that includes the present, not just the musty past, as the Chinese themselves tend to see "history," eliciting from them much yawning. Of course, the reason why history as it is taught in China does not include the present is that the present often departs from the carefully scripted official story, according to which modern China's history ends in 1949 and after which there is no more history to write, because the country's socialist destiny has been reached, apart from a handful of ongoing self-congratulatory milestones - the Beijing Olympics, the space program, etc. So to write a history that addresses the reality of something in the present is quite a radical idea in China. D'Arcy-Brown found this out in his numerous encounters with baffled and suspicious police along the Canal who wanted to know what he was doing there.

Most of the Grand Canal today, it turns out, is not a pretty sight. Only the southern length, from Hangzhou north to Jining, has enough water to continue to be used mainly for coal transport on barges, some of which the author was lucky enough to be allowed onto after bribing the captain. The northern length is largely bone dry, despite a few brief showcase stretches passing through Tianjin, the Beijing suburb of Tongzhou and a few other cities, that have been beautified with parks and monuments. Elsewhere for long lengths of the canal the author could not even gain access, stuck in hotels in nearby cities and monitored by the police.
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Format: Paperback
(sorry about my english, i am not a native speaker)
Having lived in Hangzhou, sharing tea and bamboo chairs with my good old neighbors, smelling their chinese medicinal herbs boiling on the stove through the wooden walls , I am enjoying very much reading this book (not yet finished), as a memory of the FACETTES of life that exist uniquely in China.

Initialy i ordered the book to write a short essay for a media-theory-essay focussing on the influence of the technologial breakthrough of the canal to the chinese civilisation.
I found it very inspiring, and yes, indeed, not extremely full of technical information(which can be found elsewhere).
But reading D'Arcy's phrases is a great pleasure. His connection to the Chinese through the deep knowledge of the language and the sensivity of his communication make this book a great fun to read.
I can smell the herbs and the gutters, and have a smile on my face. What do you want more?
Thanks :)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very interesting description of one of China's least known unbelievable formidable technical achievements,
Interesting also because the author gives what seems to be a very balanced view on life in China.
It will be interesting to compare notes if we manage to get to at least some of the places described in the book during our next trip to China in 2015.
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