The Great Wall: From Beginning to End by Michael Yamashita
It is arguably the greatest feat of civil engineering in history, and indisputably earth’s largest single cultural relic: begun during the Qin Dynasty (around 208 BC) and completed nearly 1,800 years later during the Ming Dynasty, the Great Wall of China spans more than 4,000 miles. At the dawn of the Beijing Olympics, the eyes of all the world are upon it.
Two men who navigated every inch of the Wall have collaborated on a lavishly-illustrated tribute to this amazing structure. Michael Yamashita, an award-winning National Geographic photographer, spent a year shooting the Wall, its environs, and the people who live in its shadow, for the magazine. One hundred and sixty of his magnificent photos grace this volume, which features text by William Lindesay, who not only conducts tours of the Wall and spearheads the movement to preserve it, but has actually run its entire length. Broken into three sections, The Great Wall provides an overview that debunks myths and dishes up rare facts and figures, a comprehensive history that proceeds dynasty by dynasty through its construction, and an account of Lindesay’s personal experiences of the Wall.