Thursday, April 8, 2010

Books on The Silk Road, Western and Central Asia

These are recent additions to our selection of books on the Silk Road, Western and Central Asia:
  • The Silk Road: An Ancient Trade Route by M.S. Luke. This is a comprehensive overview of the ancient trade route linking China with the West. The areas covered include: Buddhism and the Silk Road; Violent non-state actors in Central Asia; Ecumenical Mischief; Silk Road ancient sites and conservation; the Islamisation of the Silk Road; and Restoration of the Silk Road among others. With bibliography and index.
  • The Umayyads: The Rise of Islamic Art. The Umayyad culture represents the emergence of an innovative artistic language where the subtle crossbreeding of the Aramean, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Persian influences yield a new architectural and decorative order in which the foundations for the birth of the Islamic art would be laid. This book - one of the Museum With No Frontiers Exhibitions catalogues - provides a detailed introduction to the Umayyad culture, including art, architecture, pottery, coinage, utensils and others. With 182 colour illustrations, 43 monument plans and glossary.
  • Kashgar: Oasis City on China's Old Silk Road by George Michell; Marika Vicziany; and Tsui Yen Hu. 2500 miles from Beijing, Kashgar is one of the most remote cities in the world. But, until the early twentieth century, it was known as the "pivot" of central Asia, and before that, it was one of the principal way stations on the Silk Road. Today it remains one of the most complete historical urban centres in China. This book celebrates its history and character through beautiful colour photographs and accompanying text. With selected bibliography.
  • Traces in the Desert: Journeys of Discovery Across Central Asia by Christoph Baumer. Christoph Baumer has spent a lifetime travelling through the countries of Central Asia, making extraordinary discoveries along the way. This book follows in his intrepid footsteps as he finds evidence of Indo-Europeans in the steppes of Western Mongolia, discovers lost oasis cities in the Taklamakan and unearths art treasures in Tibet. He embarks on a quest to find Genghis Khan's long-lost tomb and has numerous, occasionally hair-raising, encounters with shamans, Iranian politicians and armed Tibetan bandits. Enlightening and full of adventure, Traces in the Desert uniquely illuminates the hidden parts of Central Asia that have not just disappeared beneath the shifting sands, but also from the horizon of our memory.
  • Dragon Fighter: One Woman's Epic Struggle for Peace with China by Rebiya Kadeer and Alexandra Cavelius. Rebiyah Kadeer (b. 1946) was born to an Uyghur family in China's borderlands with Kazakhstan. She traces her career as refugee, self-made millionaire and celebrated official of China's National Peoples Congress. Following her efforts to promote the human and political rights of Uyghur people, attendance at the 1995 Beijing United Nations World Conference on Women, and unrest in her home area, she was arrested in 1999. She tells of her gross ill treatment and the sufferings of other prisoners, and finally, after international outcry, her 2005 release "to take medical treatment" in the US. She has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and apparently, been subject to harassment and assassination attempts. Rebiya has received awards from Human Rights Watch and Norway's Rafto Foundation. This book tells of China's apparent orchestrated efforts to obliterate Uyghur identity.

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