Author(s): Michael Yamashita
Armchair travellers and history and photography buffs will thrill to this trimmer, more affordable edition of the 2002 bestseller. "National Geographic" shooter Michael Yamashita traces the footsteps of Marco Polo's fabled journey, from the Grand Canal in Venice through the mountains and deserts of Iraq and Iran, to the war zone of Afghanistan, over the Silk Road and "the roof of the world," and on to China, returning home by way of coastal Sumatra, Sri Lanka, and India. Undertaken to investigate academic doubts about the authenticity of the Venetian's first-person accounts of the Orient, the beautifully illustrated book documents the photographer's forensic confirmation of Marco's itinerary as well vivid impressions of his own adventures. The 350 photos are supplemented by a historical introduction and a precious selection of Marco-era maps and artwork. In addition to a spectacular visual travelogue over epic terrain, "Marco Polo" is also an evocative dialogue between two adventurers trekking over the same route in different centuries. Quotations from Marco's celebrated narrative, "The Description of the World", punctuate and contextualize Yamashita's texts, enriching the reader's vicarious experience of their respective travels. The author, of course, encountered his own dangers, challenges, and mishaps, including vehicle and equipment failure, adverse weather conditions, armed conflict, and religious mandates against photographing certain sites. The end result is a treasure trove of history, geography, and culture, redolent of human toil, sun and spice, opium and axle grease, breathtaking vistas and citadels of exotic civilization.
MICHAEL YAMASHITA is an award-winning photographer for National Geographic, which published his unprecedented three-part series on Marco Polo's travels and produced a related documentary for its television channel. Among his books are The Great Wall (Sterling Publishing) and Zheng He (White Star Publishers). When he's not traversing the globe, shooting, lecturing, or exhibiting his work, he resides in Chester, New Jersey, where he's on call as a volunteer firefighter. GIANNI GUADALUPI was a writer, translator and editor of books and journals devoted to the literature of travel both real and imaginary. For White Star Publishers he edited, among other titles, The Discovery of the Nile, China Revealed, The Holy Bible, Sahara, and books in The Art of Being series.
Preface by Michael Yamashita; Historical Introduction Travels and adventures of Messer Milione by Gianni Guadalupi; PART I: FROM VENICE TO CHINA; historical introduction Venice Iraq Iran Afghanistan; PART II: MARCO POLO IN CHINA; historical introduction from Pamir to kashgar from kashgar to Xanadu from bejing to Jiangsu Sichuan, Yunnan, Laos and myanmar labrang and the tibetan plateau; PART III: THE RETURN JOURNEY; historical introduction Quanzhou, the south china sea and Vietnam indonesia and Sri Lanka India; Epilogue.