A swift-moving, colorful account of the bewildering array of fiercely independent ethnic groups within an uneasy Chinese...



A history/travelogue of the far-reaching Chinese frontiers that share more with the cultures of central Asia than with the Han majority.

Xinjiang, Tibet, Yunnan, Dongbei: These are the border regions of China that contain its 55 officially recognized ethnic minorities (about 100 million people) yet are increasingly being populated and overruled by the Han. Sunday Telegraph Beijing correspondent Eimer synthesizes his trips into these nether regions since the 1980s, when he first ventured to Xinjiang, the region of the Muslim Uighurs in the far west, bordering Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia, among other countries. The journey west across the ancient Silk Road still takes days on a train, but there are many more Han moving westward in what the author sees as a new “colonizing” fever. They have not been particularly welcome among the natives, who often don’t even speak Chinese and “regard the Han as interlopers.” Indeed, there continue to be spontaneous uprisings against them, and the Uighurs and other minorities largely keep a wary distance from the Han, and vice versa—unlike the more harmonious mixing of ethnic groups in nearby Kazakhstan. From Kashgar, Eimer moved south through the Silk Road stops of Yarkant and Hotan, where he sensed strongly the Chinese Communist Party’s strenuous efforts to suppress the Uighurs’ religious expression. Then he traveled into mountainous, exotic Tibet, where simply possessing a picture of the Dalai Lama can lead to arrest and Buddhists pilgrims continue to flock despite severe CCP repression. In the deep south of Yunnan Province, heart of the Golden Triangle, the author traveled along the porous, jungle borders of Myanmar and Laos. Eimer also explored Dongbei, which makes up the northeast border near Mongolia, Russia and North Korea and contains many Koreans and Manchus of all stripes (even Christian).

A swift-moving, colorful account of the bewildering array of fiercely independent ethnic groups within an uneasy Chinese “home.”

Pub Date: July 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62040-363-1

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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