Marco Polo: The Journey that Changed the World

Overview

Respected historian and travel writer John Man tells the remarkable story of the world's most famous traveler—Marco Polo—and the moment when East met West for the first time

 

Marco Polo’s late 13th-century journey from Venice, through Europe and most of Asia, to China is one of the most audacious in history. His account of his experiences, known simply as The Travels, uncovered an entirely new world of emperors and concubines, great buildings—"stately pleasure domes" in ...

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Marco Polo: The Journey that Changed the World

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This item will be available on November 11, 2014.
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Overview

Respected historian and travel writer John Man tells the remarkable story of the world's most famous traveler—Marco Polo—and the moment when East met West for the first time

 

Marco Polo’s late 13th-century journey from Venice, through Europe and most of Asia, to China is one of the most audacious in history. His account of his experiences, known simply as The Travels, uncovered an entirely new world of emperors and concubines, great buildings—"stately pleasure domes" in Coleridge’s dreaming, huge armies, and imperial riches. He revealed the wonders of Xanadu, where the emperor Kublai Khan spent his summers. His book shaped the West’s understanding of China for hundreds of years, inspiring Christopher Columbus, who was aiming for Kublai's China when he stumbled on America. John Man traveled in Marco Polo's footsteps to Xanadu, in search of the truth behind his stories; to separate legend from fact. He takes readers across north China to Xanadu, then to Beijing and through modern China, where Marco Polo's journey's can still be traced. Drawing on his own journey, archaeology, and archival study, John Man paints a vivid picture of the man behind the myth and the true story of the great court of Kublai Khan.

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Editorial Reviews

The Guardian
“An engaging piece of storytelling and a very companionable journey of exploration.”
Sunday Telegraph
“An erudite and lively piece of travel writing, and an excellent read.”
Scotland on Sunday
“John Man’s engaging and diverting study of the historical Xanadu renders the truths as beguiling as the mythology . . . with a combination of travel writing, historical analysis and anecdote, Man uses Xanadu almost as a keyhole through which to describe larger events.”
Scotsman (A Best Book of the Year selection)
“Beautifully charted. ... An in-the-footsteps-of-Marco-Polo journey through Europe to China which really makes you feel you are wearing Polo’s slippers as you go.”
Asian Review of Books
“Enjoyable. ... Fascinating. ... Man’s erudition and hands-on approach to solving historical questions is endearing and keeps the pages turning.”
Simon Sebag Montefiore
“One could ask for no better storyteller or analyst than John Man.”
John Fusco
“I have read everything written on Marco Polo, and John Man’s book is, by far, my favorite work on the subject. It’s not only an over-due and important historical study, it’s an entertaining ride every step of the way.”
Michael Palin
“John Man’s ability to put us in the picture, to feel, smell, and almost touch the surroundings he describes, is matched by his ability to tell a good story.”
Lonely Planet
“Inspiring for travelers.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062375070
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/11/2014
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

John Man is a British historian and travel writer with a special interest in Asia. A graduate of Oxford who also studied at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, Man is the author of Samurai, Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, Kublai Khan, Alpha Beta, and The Gutenberg Revolution.

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