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Among Insurgents

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At the age of 53, Shelby Tucker set out to cross Burma on foot from China to India when land access to Burma was forbidden. Tucker had a rucksack, a diary and some inaccurate maps. He recruited a 6ft 4" Swede, Mats, whom he had met on the train to Beijing. Near the beginning of their walk through the jungle they encountered a group of naked boys bathing - they realized too late that the boys' Chinese Army uniforms were on the banks. With typical sangfroid, Tucker leapt in to join them, shouting incomprehensible English greetings. Before long they were in the hands of the Kachin Independence Army and managed to survive many near misses with the Burmese Army. Despite pain and constant danger, Tucker recorded each day the vivid beauty of the country, and the courtesy and hospitality of the Kachins (the most important of Burma's hidden colonies, about whom very little has been written). "Among Insurgents" was Colin Thubron's Book of the Year. "...This is a story of real, risk-taking, old-fashioned travel, not pre-paid by a publisher or faked by a television company", Maggie Gee, Daily Telegraph.
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About the Author

Shelby Tucker is an American who read law at Oxford and practised for many years. He had addressed the US National Security Council on Burma and lectured on the Kachins and the Burmese Civil War at the School of Oriental and African Studies, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and elsewhere. He has also acted as General Counsel for the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma.


'Every few years there comes along a first book by an unknown author that makes you want to stand up and applaud. This is such a book. This is a story of real, risk-taking, old-fashioned travel, not pre-paid by a publisher or faked by a television company. Beautifully written and illustrated with colour photos and maps, it deserves to become a classic.' Maggie Gee, Daily Telegraph 'Tucker's adventure is a throwback to the heroic age of travel...endlessley fascinating and well informed on this little known region of Asia...outstandingly well written in the insouciant Peter Fleming tradition...the most unusual and distinguished travel book I have read for years.' Robert Carver, Times Literary Supplement 'I read it with growing amazement. What a journey and what a lot of research since! Very impressive!' Robin Hanbury-Tenison

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