Read The River at the Center of the World: A Journey Up the Yangtze, and Back in Chinese Time by Simon Winchester Free Online
Book Title: The River at the Center of the World: A Journey Up the Yangtze, and Back in Chinese Time|
The author of the book: Simon Winchester
Edition: Henry Holt and Co.
Date of issue: October 15th 1996
ISBN 13: 9780805038880
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 1.34 MB
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Reader ratings: 7.3
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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 history.
Starting at the mouth of the river in the city of Shanghai, Winchester, and his companion Lily, travel through a series of landscapes that are stark, polluted, varied and at times utterly beautiful. Traveling by boat on the river for a lots of the journey, he describes the people that he meets, the landscapes he sees, and writes about the changes that this river will suffer at the hand of man.
He is not scared to write critically of the Chinese government, in particular about the horrendous treatment of the Tibetan people when he reaches the headwaters of the river. But throughout the book he tells of the people that make this country unique and such a rich assault on the senses.
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Read information about the authorSimon Winchester, OBE, is a British writer, journalist and broadcaster who resides in the United States. Through his career at The Guardian, Winchester covered numerous significant events including Bloody Sunday and the Watergate Scandal. As an author, Simon Winchester has written or contributed to over a dozen nonfiction books and authored one novel, and his articles appear in several travel publications including Condé Nast Traveler, Smithsonian Magazine, and National Geographic.
In 1969, Winchester joined The Guardian, first as regional correspondent based in Newcastle upon Tyne, but was later assigned to be the Northern Ireland Correspondent. Winchester's time in Northern Ireland placed him around several events of The Troubles, including the events of Bloody Sunday and the Belfast Hour of Terror.
After leaving Northern Ireland in 1972, Winchester was briefly assigned to Calcutta before becoming The Guardian's American correspondent in Washington, D.C., where Winchester covered news ranging from the end of Richard Nixon's administration to the start of Jimmy Carter's presidency. In 1982, while working as the Chief Foreign Feature Writer for The Sunday Times, Winchester was on location for the invasion of the Falklands Islands by Argentine forces. Suspected of being a spy, Winchester was held as a prisoner in Tierra del Fuego for three months.
Winchester's first book, In Holy Terror, was published by Faber and Faber in 1975. The book drew heavily on his first-hand experiences during the turmoils in Ulster. In 1976, Winchester published his second book, American Heartbeat, which dealt with his personal travels through the American heartland. Winchester's third book, Prison Diary, was a recounting of his imprisonment at Tierra del Fuego during the Falklands War and, as noted by Dr Jules Smith, is responsible for his rise to prominence in the United Kingdom. Throughout the 1980s and most of the 1990s, Winchester produced several travel books, most of which dealt with Asian and Pacific locations including Korea, Hong Kong, and the Yangtze River.
Winchester's first truly successful book was The Professor and the Madman (1998), published by Penguin UK as The Surgeon of Crowthorne. Telling the story of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary, the book was a New York Times Best Seller, and Mel Gibson optioned the rights to a film version, likely to be directed by John Boorman.
Though Winchester still writes travel books, he has repeated the narrative non-fiction form he used in The Professor and the Madman several times, many of which ended in books placed on best sellers lists. His 2001 book, The Map that Changed the World, focused on geologist William Smith and was Whichester's second New York Times best seller. The year 2003 saw Winchester release another book on the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary, The Meaning of Everything, as well as the best-selling Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded. Winchester followed Krakatoa's volcano with San Francisco's 1906 earthquake in A Crack in the Edge of the World. The Man Who Loved China (2008) retells the life of eccentric Cambridge scholar Joseph Needham, who helped to expose China to the western world. Winchester's latest book, The Alice Behind Wonderland, was released March 11, 2011.
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