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Riding a motorbike in howling high winds and freezing temperatures to reach Nordkapp, the northern most point of Europe could have been disastrous. But for Shirley Hardy-Rix and Brian Rix it was one of the best days of their lives. This is what the well-travelled retired couple had hoped for when they planned to fill a gap in their riding experience and take on Scandinavia, the old Silk Road in Central Asia and the world's largest country, Russia. They shipped their motorcycle to Greece and spent the next six months riding to the northern most tip of Europe and then taking the long road to Vladivostok in Russia. From freezing cold to the searing heat of 47°C in the deserts of Central Asia, Shirley and Brian pushed the boundaries, tackling icy roads and gravel tracks. They rode through water crossings and deep sand drifts to reach some of the most beautiful cities on the Silk Road. The Long Way to Vladivostok takes readers through some of the world's most glorious and remote areas, sharing the joys and hardships of life on the road. Experience their travels from the comfort of your armchair or be inspired to pack your bags and hit the road.
The unbelievable success story of young foreign merchants in the “Wild East” of Russia
It was our intent to write a travelogue of an around-the-world car race, the first of its kind in more than one hundred years. We began by interviewing JC Wilkerson, CEO of World Rallies Inc., and Kyle Vanderhorn, the official race reporter. Then Thurman Alston, one of the racers, approached us with an outrageous list of accusations, presenting a very different story from the sanitized official version. Thurman wanted to make these allegations public. The accusations were primarily aimed at Ed Talbot, the driver of car 23, a controversial alternative energy automobile which, it appears, has now been destroyed. The allegations were as follows: First, that Ed leaked information to the CIA about the radical nature of the car’s technology, leading to the intervention of the U.S. and Russian governments, and indirectly to the murders in Siberia. Second, that Ed’s irresponsible actions during the race were the reasons that the environmentallyfriendly technology in his entry has not been made available to the world and that he is to blame for some of the climatic change that will take place in the future. Third, that Ed was lying about the innovation in the car. It was actually nothing new, and was, in fact, fully developed in Nazi Germany during World War II, and then held off the market by oil interests. Finally, that his secret liaison with his navigator showed a reckless disregard for his wife and young daughter and affected his judgment. While these accusations appeared to be absurd, we knew we had to sort out Thurman’s wild claims before we could write an objective report of the around-the-world race. We discovered that there was some truth among these charges; a story hidden within a story. We became intrigued with our findings. It turned out that the race was a minor part of the challenges Ed faced. Our research had turned up a convoluted love story that alone would have made it difficult for Ed to have followed a different course of action. You can decide for yourself whether a less disastrous outcome would have been possible if he had made different decisions. Ed and Janet Howle www.thelongroadtoParis.com
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This new study brings together leading experts to show how the modern world began with the coming of the railway. They clearly explain why it had a greater impact than any other technical or industrial innovation before and completely redefined the limits of the civilized world. While the effect of railways on economic development is self-evident, little attention has been paid to their impact on international relations. This is unfortunate, for in the period from 1848 to 1945, railways were an important element in the struggle between the Great Powers. This took many forms. Often, as in East Asia, the competition for railway concessions reflected the clash of rival imperial interests. The success or failure of this competition could determine which of the European Powers was to dominate and exploit the markets of China and Siam. Just as often, railways were linked with military matters. Prussia’s success in the wars of German unification depended on its strategic railways just as much as on the strength of its armies, and the rail links remained a vital aspect of German military thinking before the First World War. So, too, did they for the Russians, whose vast Empire required rail links capable of moving the Tsarist army quickly and competently. Just as importantly, railways could be vital for Imperial defence, as the British discovered on the North-West frontier of India. This book will be of much interest to students of international history, military history and strategic studies.

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