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1 Burnside Asia- China Peoples Republic 1949 to Present

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Before the Deluge: The Vanishing World of the Yangtze's Three Gorges

by

Before the Deluge: The Vanishing World of the Yangtze's Three Gorges Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"I first sailed the Yangtze in 1983 on the Kun Lun, a foreign-leased cruise ship that went back and forth in seedy glamour between Shanghai and Chongqing. Over the next years, I made many trips along China's longest river, most often on its upper reaches, the section between western Hubei province and central Sichuan province in which the Three Gorges, a spectacular 120-mile stretch of mountains, ravines, and once deadly currents, are located. On board ship, I lectured to foreign tourists about Chinese history, shepherded them in and out of museums and factories, took them to hospitals, and dispatched them onward when necessary on stretchers and in urns. These long, leisurely, and contradictory trips, full of strange and fleeting intimacies, gave me my first introduction to river life."

So begins Deirdre Chetham's elegiac book about the towns along the banks of the Three Gorges area of the Yangtze River, written on the very eve of their destruction. The Yangtze flows 3,900 miles eastward from its source on the Tibetan-Qinghai plateau, where the Mekong and Salween also make their start, to Shanghai and the East China Sea. After great controversy, the Chinese government has begun construction of the world's largest hydroelectric dam in the Three Gorges section of the Yangtze, a place renowned for its beauty. For over two thousand years, the Yangtze has been the great transport route linking the coast with the west and southwest and providing irrigation for the farms that fed China. Once the dam is completed in 2009, the water level will rise as much as 350 feet in a hundred-mile stretch of the river. The water will submerge over a dozen large cities, almost 1,500 villages and towns, and innumerable historical and cultural sites. Over a million people are being moved, voluntarily or otherwise, altering not only their lives, but the lives of a multitude of others whose existence is intertwined with the river. A region already struggling with the impact of widespread rural migration is confronting the reality of having even fewer incentives to keep its youth in an area many wish to flee.

Before the Deluge captures a sense of the daily life, traditions, and history of the people who live along the Upper Yangtze's Three Gorges area. It chronicles the region's past and present with an eye on the disruption of an existing way of life. Perhaps most importantly, it captures a world that is rapidly vanishing under the rushing waters of one of the world's largest rivers.

Synopsis:

A timely and compelling portrait of a world, quickly vanishing under the rising waters of the Yangtze River.

Synopsis:

Chetham's elegiac book about the towns along the banks of the Three Gorges area of the Yangtze River was written on the very eve of their destruction. After great controversy, the Chinese government has begun construction of the world's largest hydroelectric dam in the Three Gorges section of the Yangtze, a place renowned for its beauty. For over two thousand years, the Yangtze has been the great transport route linking the coast with the west and southwest and providing irrigation for the farms that fed China. Once the dam is completed in 2009, the water level will rise as much as 350 feet in a hundred-mile stretch of the river. The water will submerge over a dozen large cities, almost 1,500 villages and towns, and innumerable historical and cultural sites. Over a million people are being moved, voluntarily or otherwise, altering not only their lives, but the lives of a multitude of others whose existence is intertwined with the river. Before the Deluge captures a sense of the daily life, traditions and history of the people who live along the Upper Yangtze's Three Gorges area. It chronicles the region's past and present with an eye on the disruption of an existing way of life. Perhaps most importantly, it captures a world that is rapidly vanishing under the rushing waters of one of the world's largest rivers.

Synopsis:

After great controversy, the Chinese government began construction of the world's largest hydroelectric dam in the Three Gorges section of the Yangtze River. The dam will raise the river level hundreds of feet and inundate close to a thousand villages, cities, and towns, requiring the relocation of more than a million people. Deirdre Chetham has been a guide and lecturer on the Yangtze since 1982. Having worked among them, she knows about the lives of the people who live along its shores, from fishermen plying their trade to monks entering temples of worship, capturing a sense of their daily life, while recording their traditions and history. "In Before the Deluge, Chetham paints a compelling portrait of the vanishing world of this remote but beautiful mountainous region of the upper Yangtze River and documents a civilization that will, eventually, cease to exist.

About the Author

Deirdre Chetham has been a frequent traveler on the Yangtze River for almost twenty years. She has been the executive director of the Harvard University Asia Center since 1997, and until 2000 served concurrently as the executive director of Harvard's Fairbank Center for East Asian Research. Prior to this, she spent a decade as a U.S. foreign service officer, with assignments in Beijing, East Berlin, and on the Burma desk in Washington D.C. Deirdre Chetham has been a contributor the National Geographic News Service, Gemini News Service in London, and Radio Netherlands International.

Table of Contents

Introduction * The Towns: Shibao Block, Wushan, and Fengjie * History and Myth * Traditional Life * Outsiders on the River * War Along the Yangtze * Taming and Exploiting the River * New Life Along the River * The Coming Flood: The Three Gorges Dam and the Future

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312214173
Subtitle:
The Vanishing World of the Yangtze's Three Gorges
Author:
Chetham, Deirdre
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Location:
New York, N.Y.
Subject:
Rivers
Subject:
History
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection
Subject:
China
Subject:
Asia - China
Subject:
Dams
Subject:
Yangtze River Region
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
Subject:
General Political Science
Subject:
City Planning & Urban Development
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
SO-95
Publication Date:
20040318
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16 page photo insert
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9.09 x 5.7 x 0.715 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Asia » China » Peoples Republic 1949 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » China

Before the Deluge: The Vanishing World of the Yangtze's Three Gorges Used Hardcover
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$6.50 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Palgrave MacMillan - English 9780312214173 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A timely and compelling portrait of a world, quickly vanishing under the rising waters of the Yangtze River.

"Synopsis" by ,
Chetham's elegiac book about the towns along the banks of the Three Gorges area of the Yangtze River was written on the very eve of their destruction. After great controversy, the Chinese government has begun construction of the world's largest hydroelectric dam in the Three Gorges section of the Yangtze, a place renowned for its beauty. For over two thousand years, the Yangtze has been the great transport route linking the coast with the west and southwest and providing irrigation for the farms that fed China. Once the dam is completed in 2009, the water level will rise as much as 350 feet in a hundred-mile stretch of the river. The water will submerge over a dozen large cities, almost 1,500 villages and towns, and innumerable historical and cultural sites. Over a million people are being moved, voluntarily or otherwise, altering not only their lives, but the lives of a multitude of others whose existence is intertwined with the river. Before the Deluge captures a sense of the daily life, traditions and history of the people who live along the Upper Yangtze's Three Gorges area. It chronicles the region's past and present with an eye on the disruption of an existing way of life. Perhaps most importantly, it captures a world that is rapidly vanishing under the rushing waters of one of the world's largest rivers.

"Synopsis" by , After great controversy, the Chinese government began construction of the world's largest hydroelectric dam in the Three Gorges section of the Yangtze River. The dam will raise the river level hundreds of feet and inundate close to a thousand villages, cities, and towns, requiring the relocation of more than a million people. Deirdre Chetham has been a guide and lecturer on the Yangtze since 1982. Having worked among them, she knows about the lives of the people who live along its shores, from fishermen plying their trade to monks entering temples of worship, capturing a sense of their daily life, while recording their traditions and history. "In Before the Deluge, Chetham paints a compelling portrait of the vanishing world of this remote but beautiful mountainous region of the upper Yangtze River and documents a civilization that will, eventually, cease to exist.
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