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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Travel Writer Colin Thubron on the Amur River

Afternoon Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, September 29, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1L0419
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$20 - Member
$25 - Non-Member

Materials for this program

  1. Amur River Map

Colin Thubron

The Amur River is the tenth longest river in the world—yet it is almost unknown. The river rises in the Mongolian mountains, flows through Siberia to the Pacific, and for 1,100 miles forms the tense border between Russia and China. Resonating with the memory of land grabs and unequal treaties, this is the most densely fortified frontier on Earth.

Drawing on his new book, The Amur River: Between Russia and China, acclaimed travel writer Colin Thubron recounts an eye-opening, often-perilous journey from the Amur’s secret headwaters to where it ends, covering almost 3,000 miles. Hampered by injury and harassed by the local police, Thubron makes his way along both the Russian and Chinese shores, starting out on a Mongolian horse, then hitchhiking, sailing on poachers’ sloops, or travelling on the Trans-Siberian Express. He talks to everyone he meets, from Chinese traders to Russian fishermen, and from monks to indigenous people. By the time he reaches the river’s desolate end, where Russia’s 19th-century imperial dream petered out, a whole pivotal world has come alive.

The Amur River: Between Russia and China (HarperCollins) is available for purchase.

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This program is part of our
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