- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
This odyssey-spanning 14,000 miles in four months-details China's rich diversity in a narrative jeweled with dazzling descriptions but lacking analysis. Legerton and Rawson, graduate students in the region's language and history, meander along the Silk Road, reporting on various "hidden" minorities and gaining extraordinary access to people's lives and homes. However, they take much of what they are told at face value and provide only superficial analysis of their ambitious undertaking. This is unfortunate because their sources and observations speak directly to the intersection of politics and culture that came to the fore in the days before Beijing hosted the Olympic Games. It is only in the afterword that they make explicit the link between China's official party line on minorities and what they witnessed. Nor do they attempt to explain what forces maintained China's cohesion over the turbulent past half-century. Despite these structural weaknesses, this is a spectacular achievement reminiscent of early 20th-century anthropological monographs by Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict, with much to charm readers in search of a travelogue on China's remote border and interior regions. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.