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The Great Wall in 50 Objects
The Great Wall in 50 Objects

The Great Wall in 50 Objects


402 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $28.95 (US $28.95) (CA $38.95)

Publication Date: October 2016

ISBN 9780734310484

Rights: US & CA

Penguin Books China (Oct 2016)
Viking China

Price: $28.95


The culmination of a lifetime's field work and research, William Lindesay selects 50 artifacts to tell the story of the Great Wall

From the survey beforehand to the foundations, the core, and eventually the ruins, this book explores the majesty of the Wall through the objects it has inspired such as the appearance of the Wall in Ortelius' atlas of the world to the unexpected origins of 'wolf smoke', proliferation of the blunderbuss in the 15th century Great Wall theatre of war, and Kafka's classic short story "At the Building of the Great Wall".


"Lindesay has a knack for approaching the iconic Great Wall of China in ways that are creative, idiosyncratic, and deeply personal . . . He has succeeded again." —Peter Hessler, author, Oracle Bone

"Lindesay shows us the Wall in a completely new light. . . .Through these objects we feel the Great Wall transform from architecture into a living part of the history and culture of China." —Jack Weatherford, author, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World 

Author Biography

William Lindesay was the first foreigner to traverse the Ming Great Wall on foot from end to end, in 1987. He has featured in documentaries, including a presentation of his own story on the National Geographic Channel. His books include Alone on the Great Wall and The Terracotta Army of the First Emperor of China.