Tearing Up the Silk Road: A modern epic journey from East to West along ancient trade routes

Garnet Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of Tearing up the Silk Road: A Modern Journey from China to Istanbul, through Central Asia, Iran and the Caucasus,by Tom Coote.

In Tearing up the Silk Road, Tom Coote chronicles his journey along this ancient trade route, and allows the reader to glimpse at the true cultures of the people and places he visits, presenting an alternative, ‘unofficial’, viewpoint, which usually remains hidden from Western eyes.

While rushing 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, mountain ranges, rapidly expanding megacities and ancient ruins –Tom finds himself again and again on 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.

In an increasingly interconnected world, archaic conceptions of race, ethnicity and nationalism are becoming obsolete. Instead, new forms of identity are emerging, founded more upon shared cultural preferences and aspirations than on the remnants of tribal allegiance. The greatest clash of civilisations, however, seems to be between the few who have so much, and the masses now uniting to demand so much more.

This is an irreverent travelogue, and a highly enjoyable read which will have great appeal to those who want to be travellers rather than tourists. It is essential reading for those planning to visit this newly accessible area, and for those interested in the more general social issues arising from mass development and expansion in today’s society.

After ten years of playing guitar in failed heavy metal groups Tom Coote went to university as a mature student to read Third World Studies. He later taught himself programming and won a studentship to take an MSc in Information Technology. He is a keen traveller, and has so far managed to visit 108 countries. He regularly contributes stories and articles to a number of travel websites. Tearing up the Silk Road is his first travel book.

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