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Last Barbarians

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Michel Peissel has explored Tibet for over forty years, coming to know both its fiercely independent nomadic peoples and its natural wonders. In 1994, seizing the rarest of opportunities, he made this expedition deep into areas of Tibet forbidden to almost all other foreigners, and discovered the source of the Mekong river in the ice-strewn fields on the 'roof of the world'. Known to the Chinese as 'the last barbarians', the peoples of Tibet are among the last in the world to retain a 'Stone Age' memory. This book brings together the author's unparalleled first-hand knowledge of both the Tibetan people, their culture and troubled history, and the astonishing natural beauty of a spectacular country. Having charted the source of the Mekong, Peissel made history a second time by finding a living fossil, the Riwoche horse, a species unknown to contemporary zoology that may prove to be a missing link in equine evolution. Travel writing of the best kind, the engrossing story of two historic discoveries, and a unique first-hand perspective on a fascinating country and its peoples.
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About the Author

Birthplace: France; Current residence: Paris; Qualifications (including significant previous publications); Michel Peissel studied at Harvard and Oxford and holds a doctorate in Tibetan ethnology from the Sorbonne. One of the world's foremost experts on Tibet, he speaks several Tibetan dialects and has written fifteen books on his world-wide expeditions, many on Tibet which have been UK best-sellers including Mustang: The Lost Tibetan Kingdom and The Great Himalyan Passage. Other titles include The Lost World of Quintana-Roo, Tiger for Breakfast, The Mayan Gates of Gold and The Amber Trail.


'One of the last great geographical mysteries of the world solved.' The Geographical, The Magazine of the Royal Geographical Society; 'Picturesque and wonderfully atomospheric, Michel Peissel's writing makes this strange and lonely country vivid and real . . . his account is so intrinsically exciting that this story cannot fail to grip the reader's imagination.' The New York Times; 'Michel Peissel is in many ways the perfect literary traveller. He is a tremendous enthusiast, funny, warm-hearted, and sometimes engagingly naive.' Jan Morris; 'An enchanting adventure saga from a sesoned Tibet traveller. The Last Barbarians is stimulating reading that reveals the hardships suffered by, and the astounding strength of, the people of Tibet.' Dr A.F. Thurman, Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies, Columbia University. 'an eclectic narrative that mixes the bizarre with the rugged, tribal with colonial history, musings on the nature of life and exploration with accounts of this and several earlier expeditions'; Anthony Sattin, The Sunday Times; 'the charm of this book lies in the quixotic nature of Peissel's quest. He is an adventurer of the old school ... a volume of hair-raising travel writing'; Tim Heald, Literary Review; 'Erudite, funny and eccentric, just as the best books by dotty explorers ought to be.' Christopher Hart - Ottakars, Folkestone, Booksellers' Choice

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