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A journey down the Amur River at the borderlands of empires
Black Dragon River is a personal journey down one of Asia’s great rivers. The world’s ninth largest river, the Amur serves as a large part of the border between Russia and China. As a crossroads for the great empires of Asia, this area offers journalist Dominic Ziegler a lens with which to examine the societies at Europe’s only borderland with east Asia.
He follows a journey from the river’s top to bottom, and weaves the history, ecology and peoples to show a region obsessed with the past - and to show how this region holds a key to the complex and critical relationship between Russia and China today.
The long shared history on the Amur has conditioned the way China and Russia behave toward each other - and toward the outside world. To understand Putin’s imperial dreams, we must comprehend Russia’s relationship to its far east and how it still shapes the Russian mind. Not only is the Amur a key to Putinism, its history is also embedded in an ongoing clash of empires with the West.
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