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Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron
Shadow of the Silk Road is Colin Thubron's account of his 7000-mile trek along the Silk Road from the ancient Chinese capital of Xian to Antioch, Turkey. Along the way he encounters the dichotomy of the ancient civilizations and modern lifestyles and politics. Asia is a continent still beset by upheaval, and Thubron's wanderings among the locals shows him the new economy in China, the war in Afghanistan, and the political changes in Iran. Shadow of the Silk Road has received positive reviews with the New York Times saying, "With its elegiac tone, Shadow of the Silk Road is moving in a way that's rare in travel literature, sidestepping nostalgia even as it notes its pull. Thubron goes to places most other sojourners can't - because they're not so much geographic locations as states of mind, formed from the lifelong accretion of intriguing facts, mistaken hopes, mysteries."