The Horse That Leaps Through Clouds: A Tale of Espionage, the Silk Road, and the Rise of Modern China

Overview

On July 6, 1906, Baron Gustaf Mannerheim boarded the midnight train from St. Petersburg, charged by Tsar Nicholas II to secretly collect intelligence on the Qing Dynasty's sweeping reforms that were radically transforming China. One of the last Tsarist secret agents, Mannerheim chronicled almost every facet of China's modernization, from education reform and foreign investment to Tibet's struggle for independence.

On July 6, 2006, writer Eric Enno Tamm boards that same train, ...

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The Horse that Leaps Through Clouds: A Tale of Espionage, the Silk Road, and the Rise of Modern China

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Overview

On July 6, 1906, Baron Gustaf Mannerheim boarded the midnight train from St. Petersburg, charged by Tsar Nicholas II to secretly collect intelligence on the Qing Dynasty's sweeping reforms that were radically transforming China. One of the last Tsarist secret agents, Mannerheim chronicled almost every facet of China's modernization, from education reform and foreign investment to Tibet's struggle for independence.

On July 6, 2006, writer Eric Enno Tamm boards that same train, intent on following in Mannerheim's footsteps. Initially banned from China, Tamm devises a cover and retraces Mannerheim's route across the Silk Road, discovering both eerie similarities and seismic differences between the Middle Kingdoms of a century ago and today.

Along the way, Tamm offers piercing insights into China's past that raise troubling questions about its future. As Confucius once wrote, "Study the past if you would divine the future," and that is precisely what Tamm does in The Horse That Leaps Through Clouds.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582438177
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 4/17/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 1,366,041
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Enno Tamm is an author and journalist. His first book, Beyond the Outer Shores: The Untold Odyssey of Ed Ricketts, the Pioneering Ecologist Who Inspired John Steinbeck and Joseph Campbell, was a Kiriyama Prize Notable Book. His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Toronto Star, among others. Tamm currently lives in Ottawa.

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Table of Contents

Notes xi

Prologue: Crossing the Mannerheim Line xiii

Eurasia

1 St. Petersburg: The Secret Agent 1

2 Azerbaijan: The Nobels' Prize 19

3 Turkmenistan : Fear and Loathing 39

4 Uzbekistan: The Great Game Redux 57

5 Kyrgyzstan : Travels on the Synthetic Road 81

Western China

6 Kashgar: Mission Impossible 109

7 To Khotan: Oases and Outposts 133

8 Tian Shan Range : The Horse That Leaps through Clouds 155

9 Urumoj: The Banquet 177

10 To Dunhuang: Treasure Hunt 195

11 Hexi Corridor: Barbarians Inside the Gate 215

12 Lanzhou: The Chinese Renaissance 241

13 Labrang: Stoned 265

Northern China

14 Xi'an: Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics 289

15 Henan: The Harmonious Countryside 313

16 Taiyuan: Opium of the People 337

17 Wutai Shan: The Wanderer 359

18 Inner Mongolia: The Soot Road 375

19 Beijing: Reawakening 395

Epilogue: To the Finland Station 427

Acknowledgments 441

A Note on Sources 445

Endnotes 447

Selected Bibliography 467

Index 477

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