Red Express: The Greatest Rail Journey: From the Berlin Wall to the Great Wall of China

Michael Cordell, Author, Peter Solness, Photographer Prentice Hall $29.95 (255p) ISBN 978-0-13-769910-0
In an unforgettable trip, Australian journalist Cordell records a shifting panorama of cultures, politics and people as he rides the Trans-Siberian Express on the world's longest train route, from Moscow to Beijing. The first leg of his captivating rail odyssey stretched from the Berlin Wall, sections of which were still being bulldozed, through Poland, Czechoslovakia and the Baltic republics. He met East Germans grappling with the traumas of reunification, Czechs basking in their rediscovered freedom. A companionable traveler who genuinely interacts with the natives, Cordell goes far beyond surface tourist impressions. We meet punks with mohawk hairdos in Leningrad and peer inside a Moscow alcoholic clinic. A chic fashion show in Beijing highlights the contradictions of China's half-open-door policy to the West. Solness's dramatic photographs are superb, whether he captures Prague's medieval skyline or anti-Semitic graffiti on Bertolt Brecht's gravesite. This handsome volume ties in with a TV documentary. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
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