On the Ganges: Encounters with Saints and Sinners Along India's Mythic River

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Journey along one of the world’s greatest rivers and catch a glimpse into the lives and cultures of the people who live along its banks

The Ganges flows through northern India and Bangladesh for more than 1,500 miles before emptying into the Bay of Bengal. It is sacred to Hindus who worship Ganga, the river goddess. But it has also long been a magnet for foreigners, some seeking to unravel its mysteries and others who have come in search of plunder. In On the Ganges, George Black, who chronicled the exploration of the American West and the creation of Yellowstone National Park in Empire of Shadows, takes readers on an extraordinary journey from the glaciers of the Himalayas to the sacred city of Varanasi to the “hundred mouths” of the Ganges Delta.

On the Ganges, parts of which originated from a New Yorker article published last year, introduces us to a vivid and often eccentric cast of characters who worship the river, pollute it, and flock to it from all over the world in search of enlightenment and adventure. Black encounters those who run the corrupt cremation business, workers who eke out a living in squalid factories, religious fanatics, and Brits who continue to live as if the Raj had never ended.

By the end of his journey, Black has given us a memorable picture of the great river, with all its riddles and contradictions, both sacred and profane, giving the last word to a man scavenging for the gifts left by pilgrims: "There are good days and there are bad days. It all depends. Everything is in the hands of our mother, Ma Ganga."

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About the author

George Black is a writer and journalist living in New York City. His work on politics, culture, and the environment has appeared in the New Yorker and many other publications, and often reflects his lifelong passion for mountains and rivers. On the Ganges is his seventh book.
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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Jul 17, 2018
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9781466861114
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Asia / India & South Asia
Nature / Environmental Conservation & Protection
Travel / Asia / India & South Asia
Travel / Essays & Travelogues
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Thirty-five million Americans–one in eight–like to go fishing. Fly fishers have always considered themselves the aristocracy of the sport, and a small number of those devotees, a few thousand at most, insist upon using one device in the pursuit of their obsession: a handcrafted split-bamboo fly rod. Meeting this demand for perfection are the inheritors of a splendid art, one that reveres tradition while flouting obvious economic sense and reaches back through time to touch the hands of such figures as Theodore Roosevelt and Henry David Thoreau.

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