Author(s): Dominic Ziegler
Black Dragon River recounts a personal journey down one of Asia's great rivers. The world's ninth largest river, the Amur serves as a large part of the border between Russia and China. As a crossroads for the great empires of Asia, this area offers Economist journalist Dominic Ziegler a lens with which to examine the societies at Europe's only borderland with East Asia. Part travel writing, part history, it reveals how the long shared history on the Amur has conditioned the way China and Russia behave toward each other.
In his ambitious "Black Dragon River: A Journey Down the Amur River at the Borderland of Empires," Dominic Zieglermakes the powerful case that this Asian Russia has been wrongly overshadowed by the country s much smaller European component... As the book s subtitle indicates, Mr. Ziegler uses one of the world s great rivers as a vehicle to pursue this story and what a vehicle it is. ...[He] writes beautifully, and with the fervor of a naturalist. - "The Wall Street Journal " ["Black Dragon River] "is almost as sprawling as its title" " [It]presents Ziegler as both an amiable traveling companion and formidably erudite professor, serving up well-spiced anthropology In this overexamined world, it's nice to know there are outer reaches that we can discover afresh. "NPR.org" Strong in terms of background, authority and seamlessness of prose "The New York Times Book Review" The writing is superb a true labour of love, "Black Dragon River"is a triumph. "The Spectator " Highly rewarding for those with a sense of adventure Ziegler s writing [leaps] and sparkles in all directions like the salmon, fireflies and other Siberian fauna he delights in describing. As he travels, Ziegler stirs up an enthralling mix of travelogue, history and anthropology. "The Telegraph " In this absorbing travelogue and history, "Economist"editor Ziegler ranges along the 2,826-mile Amur river from its Mongolian headwaters to its Pacific mouth on what proves to be a grand adventure Ziegler happily loses himself in the twisting tributaries of the river and its lore and weaves in gorgeous evocations of the landscape and piquant reportage on the odd and vibrant characters who people it. This is a fascinating portrait of the Amur and its enduring appeal as a symbol of Russia s tarnished present." " "Publisher s Weekly" [Ziegler] weaves the colorful history of the region into his travel narrative along the Amur an area that is particularly fascinating because of its location between the empires of Russia and China and its development and history being shaped by tsars, Soviets, and the Ming and Qing dynasties, to name but a few. Readers curious about the history of Sino-Russian relations and Russia s Eastward expansion will find this account of particular interest." Library Journal" [Ziegler s] journey, which he made by horse, Jeep, and train, took him through difficult yet unforgettable landscapes and brought him into contact with a host of intriguing individuals. [He] is exceptionally knowledgeable about the Amur region and its relationship to the current tensions that define the China-Russia relationship Rich in history "Kirkus Reviews " A superb book that marvellously melds high-class travel writing on one of the world s least known regions with fascinating history of explorers, emperors, freebooters, revolutionaries and larger-than-life characters - all in a landscape that begs to be explored by traveller as intrepid and determined as Ziegler. Jonathan Fenby, author of"The Penguin History of Modern China" If you think you understand the modern world, think again. Dominic Ziegler takes us on a magical journey to an extraordinary part of the globe - a river that snakes through history and possibly all our futures. It is a story of cruelty, mystery, beauty and wilderness that leaves you smiling at your previous ignorance. John Micklethwait, co-author of"The Fourth Revolution" "A superb book that marvellously melds high-class travel writing on one of the world's least known regions with fascinating history of explorers, emperors, freebooters, revolutionaries and larger-than-life characters - all in a landscape that begs to be explored by traveller as intrepid and determined as Ziegler." Jonathan Fenby, author of "The Penguin History of Modern China" "If you think you understand the modern world, think again. Dominic Ziegler takes us on a magical journey to an extraordinary part of the globe - a river that snakes through history and possibly all our futures. It is a story of cruelty, mystery, beauty and wilderness that leaves you smiling at your previous ignorance." John Micklethwait, co-author of "The Fourth Revolution" "From the Hardcover edition.""
Dominic Ziegler isThe Economist's Asia editor. He was the founding author of Banyan, The Economist s weekly column on Asian affairs. He has previously served as the magazine s Tokyo bureau chief and as its Greater China correspondent. In that role, he openedThe Economist s first mainland bureau in Beijing in 1994. He has been with the magazine since 1986."