|Publication Date||December 18, 2006|
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In Revisiting the Silk Road , experienced author and traveler Julie Hill takes us on a spellbinding journey into the heart of a little known but volatile region, stretching from Western China to the shores of the oil-rich Caspian Sea and beyond to the Black Sea. Hers is not only a series of journeys overland or a march through ancient history, but an informed and contemporary view of life in both the liveliest cities and the farthest-flung outposts of what once was the world's stoutest and longest economic artery. Julie Hill's journey focuses on bazaars as a recurrent motif-bazaars being the economic, social, and cultural centers of the Silk Road-and radiates from these bazaars to the life around them. Because she speaks their language-literally and culturally-Julie is often welcomed by her hosts not as a customer or a trader but as a confessor and a friend, and she vindicates their trust by bringing their stories to life. In Iran, the author hears the predicament of women crying for freedom, frustrated by the deteriorating economy and the conservatives' stranglehold on power. While inescapably exotic in its subjects and imagery, the book is also a penetrating report on the effects of the recent geopolitical upheavals that have coursed through the region-seen not from the distance of spy satellites or high government places but on the ground, often literally on the street or in the homes of ordinary folk. The realities of today's Silk Road are far more complex than often understood, and this book provides an absorbing and authoritative guide to any reader in search of both a magical adventure and a hard-nosed investigation into one of the world's most important and dynamic regions.
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