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Golden Earth: Travels in Burma Paperback – 29 Aug 2003


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Golden Earth: Travels in Burma + Burmese Days (Penguin Modern Classics) + The River of Lost Footsteps: A Personal History of Burma
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Product details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Eland Publishing Ltd; New edition edition (29 Aug 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0907871380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0907871385
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14.2 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A truly great travel writer, perhaps the greatest we have. -- Ian Thomson, Sunday Telegraph

It will lure toward Burma almost anyone who reads its ninety thousand words. -- Simon Winchester, Traveler

Norman Lewis’s wonderful travel book Golden Earth, the best ever written about Burma. -- New York Review of Books

From the Publisher

First published in 1952 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Nov 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here, Lewis visits Burma soon after the end of WWII, spurred on by the knowledge that the complex political climate will soon make it impossible to visit the country. Even so, he has difficulties navigating his way round the country, dogged by the opposing needs of bureaucracy, the military and the problems of native insurgents of all political creeds. His work is beautiful and poignant. His hope at the end of the book that the Burmese will overcome their differences and take pride in their nationality and what makes them so unique, seems so much more tragic given the contemporary knowledge we have of the harsh and brutal military regime in Burma, their appalling human rights record and the recent purges by the government.
Lewis writes with compassion and sympathy for the Burmese and their country. He gets under the skin of what it means to exist in such a peculiar place and talks about his feelings about colonialism, empire and politics which is neither forced nor grating, but comes from a natural contemplation of what he experiences on his travels. He has a lightness of touch and humour that never failed to bring a smile to my lips, and while obviously dated, this is the book I would recommend as crucial reading for anyone interested in visiting or understanding Burma.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 May 1999
Format: Paperback
Norman Lewis visited Burma not long after independance in 1947. His book is excruciatingly beautiful in his descriptions of what he found then. It is ironic that after 40 odd years his observations are still pertinent to the country and its culture. I cannot conceive how anyone can craft words together in the way Norman Lewis does here. This book is recommended as an insight to Burma and also as a demonstration of ALL that is good about the English language.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dr. J. L. Mitchell on 11 Jan 2009
Format: Paperback
Previous reviewers have lauded the content of this book and I cannot disagree. I must add, however, that this book has been printed on very high quality paper which hugely increases it's appeal as a book and an object. In an electronic age this book is a joy to handle as it is to read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Feb 2011
Format: Paperback
Norman Lewis is one of the preeminent travel writers of the 20th Century. I had previously read the excellent A Dragon Apparent: Travels in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam concerning his travels in Indochina in the early `50's, during the war for Vietnamese independence from French colonial rule. I've had a deep and abiding interest in Burma, alas sometimes known as Myanmar, visiting the country four times in the `80's. When I discovered that Lewis had written a travel book on the country, based on his travels in the early `50's, I considered it an essential read.

Although the central authorities were discouraging, they did not give an absolute "no," so Lewis was able to travel throughout most of the country, when there was considerable fighting due to separatist groups, a condition that exists today. He took a boat from Rangoon to the "deep south," Mergui, via Moulmein (of Kipling fame). He describes his departure thus: "There was a lassitude in the air propitious to the embarkation upon a voyage to decaying southern ports." He manages to return to Rangoon by air, and then on to Mandalay (whose only "romantic" part is its name.) From there he travels by jeep to the former British hill station at Maymyo (I probably took the same WW II jeep as he, some 30 years later). Perhaps half the book is centered on his experiences in the northern Shan States, between Lashio and Bhamo, including the market held every five days at Nam Hkam. He manages to reach the far northern town of Myitkyina, famous for the jade found nearby. He returns to Mandalay by boat on the Irrawaddy, and on to Rangoon by train, despite the fact that the middle section has been destroyed by rebels.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Graham Poole on 18 April 2011
Format: Paperback
An absolutely delightful travel book, which should be read in conjunction with Pascal Khoo.
I have just returned from Burma, having read this before departure and I sense that little has changed, except for the dominance and greed of the military. Lovely Burma is probably now poorer than before 1939, whereas it should be on a par with neighbour Thailand economically. Altho' nearly 60 years old, this is still a must read
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By easyreader on 13 Nov 2010
Format: Paperback
I first read Norman Lewis-'A Dragon Apparent'- when I was young in the late 1950s which must have sparked my fascination with SEAsia. Burma is once again 'open' for tourists and this republished book captures the very spirit of the country with its myriad communities and its Buddhist beliefs, overlaid by the sheer quality of the writing, of a time which has possibly passed. I look forward to visiting Burmah , but in more comfort than he 'enjoyed'
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