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Xanadu: Marco Polo and Europe's Discovery of the East
     

Xanadu: Marco Polo and Europe's Discovery of the East

by Man
 

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

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"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."  —Scotland on Sunday

"Deploying the same lively style that attracted readers to his Genghis Kahn, Man transforms a forbidding barrier into an inviting passageway into Asian culture."  —Booklist on The Great Wall

“Brilliant and utterly readable . . . Reads much like an adventure story that offers fine access to this highly detailed subject.”  —Library Journal on The Terra Cotta Army

"Both an erudite and lively piece of travel writing, and an excellent read."  —Sunday Telegraph

"An engaging piece of storytelling and a very companionable journey of exploration."  —Guardian

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553820027
Publisher:
Transworld Publishers Limited
Publication date:
10/26/2010
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
932,524
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

John Man is an historian and a travel writer with a special interest in China and Mongolia. His books include Alpha Beta, Genghis KhanGutenberg, The Great Wall, The Terra Cotta Army, and The Traveler's Atlas. In 2007 he was awarded Mongolia’s prestigious Friendship Medal.

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