Text by: Anthony Paul and Brodie Paul
Publisher: Earth Aware Editions
ISBN: 978-1-60887-150-6

Psalms 33:5 states “… the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.”  In the book, China: An Intimate Look at the Past and Present – A Photographic Journey of the New Long March, Anthony Paul and Brodie Paul show how true this Bible verse is, even in the remote parts of China while revisiting a famous military route.

With three hundred and ninety-six glossy pages, this hardcover ten by twelve inch book weighs over six pounds.  There is a photograph of a bright red flag flowing across the front and back of the jacket cover, on top of a mountain scene and a black and white war photograph.  The book is a historical memoir dedicated to the 1934-1936 Long March by the Red Army which covered over six thousand miles across China, staging the rise of Mao Zedong.

Broken down into thirteen chapters, one feels as if they have stepped back in China’s legendary history showing black and white pre-war photographs, paintings and portraits.  Each major town from Jiangxi to Gansu and Shaanxi is discussed and documented both during the military march and seventy-five years later, showing how the land and people have accepted life and evolved.  There is also included a section on the history of the book project, the photographers and authors’ biographies and an index along with a story about the Red Army cap and a website to browse for more images, videos and songs.

In addition to the beautiful, peaceful,
friendly and often full-page photographs of the locale, the scenery and the people, history is provided complete with a map of the journey, intimate details and trials of the eighty-six thousand soldiers and eleven thousand support personnel along with depictions of the traveled locations such as the Dadu River with the Bridge of Iron Chains.

As the book transitions from past to present, the reader learns that currently over ninety percent of the rare earth metals are produced from China including tungsten and granite and their mines glean over one hundred and twenty tons per year compared to the United States mere five thousand tons and India’s twenty-seven hundred tons.

This beautifully portrayed, historical coffee-table book has a wonderful collection of China’s past and present land, people, culture and history.  One can read about and visualize the grasslands, the jagged rock formations and the beautiful flora as the soldier trudges onward to battle, viewed from both past and recent perspectives and see the resilience, pride and determination of their society today.

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