Tearing up the Silk Road is an irreverent travelogue that details a journey along the ancient trade routes from China to Istanbul, through Central Asia, Iran and the Caucasus. As Tom Coote struggles through the often arbitrary borders and bureaucracies of China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Armenia, Georgia and Turkey, it becomes increasingly apparent that the next generations to rise to power, will see themselves in a very different light to their predecessors: in an increasingly interconnected world, archaic conceptions of race, ethnicity and nationalism will come to be seen as increasingly irrelevant. Instead, new forms of identity are emerging, founded more upon shared cultural preferences and aspirations, than on the remnants of tribal allegiance. While rushing through from East to West, Tom Coote meets, befriends and argues with an epic range of characters: from soldiers and monks, to pilgrims, travellers and modern day silk road traders. All are striving for something more and most dream of being somewhere else. By bus, train and battered car - through deserts, open plains and mountain ranges - we find ourselves again and again at the front line of a desperate war for 'hearts and minds'. Through rapidly expanding megacities, to ancient ruins, and far more recently created wastelands, it is the West that is winning the souls while the East grows ever stronger. The real 'clash of civilisations', however, seems set to be not between the East and the West, but between the few who have so much, and the masses now uniting to demand so much more.
Tearing Up the Silk Road A Modern Journey from China to Istanbul, Through Central Asia, Iran and the Caucasus
Paperback (17 Aug 2012)
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