An account of Theroux's 1979 trip down the Yangtze river at a time when hard-line Maoists were in power. Theroux observes China's towns, cliffs, rapids, shrines and people, as well as the relationship between his fellow travellers, American tourists, and the Chinese. He concludes that in this country, things may never get better than they already are, and sees it as a country that may hold clues to the possible future of mankind.
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