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Gobi: Tracking the Desert

by John Man


It's better to travel to Mongolia in summer than in winter. In summer the temperatures can hit 115 degrees Fahrenheit, but that's easier to survive than the -40 of January. Both are preferable to spring, though, when, John Man writes in this vivid story of wilderness adventure, "brutal cold gives way to sand-blasting gales that can flay exposed skin and strip the paint from a car." Man has seen these Mongolian weathers up close, wandering around this vast country in search of its peculiar wildlife--a menagerie that includes rare wild camels and horses, mountain sheep, wolves, desert bears, and the elusive snow leopard. With the fall of Communism in the early 1990s, Man writes, Mongolia's economy had collapsed. Mongolians had responded, as always in times of stress, by leaving their cities and returning to the countryside to live off the land. In the late 1990s, with the economy improving, Mongolians were going back to their offices and shops, but with a new determination to protect the backcountry from the excesses of development that had ravaged neighboring China and Russia. As a result, the Mongolian government had taken an unusual step: not only would it encourage preservation by creating huge national parks and wilderness preserves, but it would also declare the entire, vast nation a special biosphere reserve, attracting both ecotourism and funding from international wildlife organizations. The plan worked. And, Man is happy to report, Mongolia's wildlife seems to be thriving in a time when wild nature is in decline around the world. Armchair travelers and conservationists alike will find his book to be inspiring reading. --Gregory McNamee

Mongolia Bookshop

Books on Mongolia and Mongolian Culture

Guide Books on Mongolia - Historical books
Mongolian Phrasebook - Eagle Dreams - Genghis Khan - Gobi by John Man
Morinkhuur: A self learning guide - Museum Highlights
DVD The Story of the Weeping Camel

Modern Mongolia From Khans to Commissars to Capitalists
Modern Mongolia: Reclaiming Genghis Khan

New: Travels in Northern Mongolia

Vanished Kingdoms: A Woman Explorer in Tibet, China, and Mongolia 1921-1925 - Mabel Cabot



A Testament to the Great Spirit and Success of a Remarkable Woman Explorer In the early 1920s, the last great age of world explorers, a remarkable young woman, Janet Elliott Wulsin, set out with her husband, Frederick Wulsin, for the far reaches of China, Tibet, and Outer Mongolia to study the people, flora, and fauna of the region. Janet’s strenuous, eventful exploration is detailed by a text enriched with excerpts from her candid personal letters. The journey proved to be a test of the Wulsins’ endurance and of their relationship. While in Asia, the Wulsins took many extraordinary photographs, which form the heart of this richly produced publication. They documented tribespeople and sublime desert landscapes, and, perhaps most remarkably, were allowed to photograph the interior of several of the great Tibetan Buddhist lamaseries, many of which have since been destroyed. Several dozen rare, hand-painted lantern slides survived and are reproduced here in splendid color. The photographs from the Wulsin expedition are now in the collection of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, in collaboration with which this volume is being produced.
Colloquial Mongolian - Alan J. K. Sanders... Mongolia - Claire Sermier Mongolia Bradt Guide - Jane Blunden Hearing Birds Fly - Louisa Waugh

The Khan's Daughter - Laurence Yep

A History of Inner Asia - Svat Soucek

In The Empire of Genghis Khan - Stanley Stewart

Eagle Dreams - Stephen J. Bodio

Lonely Planet Mongolian Phrasebook - Alan J.K. Sanders

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World - Jack Weatherford

Trans-Siberian Handbook, 6th - Bryn Thomas

Women of Mongolia - Martha Avery

The Desert Road to Turkestan (Kodansha Globe) - Owen Lattimore

Bones of the Master - GEORGE CRANE

I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade - Diane Lee Wilson

 

Mongolia Books
books on Mongolia and Mongolian culture