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An exciting adventure following several expeditions competing to be the first to descent China's longest river, from its headwaters in Tibet to the Three Gorges region, and eventually to the East China Sea. Among the players are a megalomaniac American fishing guide, patriotic members of China's youth movement, novice boaters and experienced rafters, thrown together to challenge one of the world's most dangerous rivers.

Originally published in 1989, and winner of a Lowell Thomas Award that year for best travel book, "Riding the Dragon's Back" has been slightly revised to emphasize the drama and excitement of its narrative of competition and challenge, although the chapters on Chinese exploration and history remain. This is modern river exploration at its best, and the book has inspired numerous whitewater enthusiasts over the years to emulate its adventurous spirit.

Author Richard Bangs has written over 20 books on travel, many of them on river exploration in his role as founder of Sobek Expeditions; he and co-author Christian Kallen have been partners not only in several of these titles, but in almost 40 online travel adventures chronicled live on the Web through Microsoft, Yahoo, MSNBC and other websites. He was host of the public television travel program "Adventures With Purpose."

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