Alexander Monro

The Paper Trail
  • The Paper Trail

  • The Paper Trail tells the story of how a simple Chinese product has for two millennia allowed knowledge, ideas and religions to spread at an unprecedented rate around the world. Alexander Monro traces this groundbreaking invention's voyage, beginning with the Buddhist translators responsible for its spread across China and Japan, and follows it westward along the Silk Road, where it eventually became the surface of the Quran. Once paper reached Europe, it became indispensable to the scholars who manufactured the Renaissance and Reformation from their desks. As Monro uncovers, paper created a world in which free thinking could flourish, and brought disciplines from science to music into a new age.

Alexander Monro studied French and English literature before shifting his focus to China. He has since studied Chinese language and politics, worked as a journalist in Shanghai, contributed chapters on China and Mongolia to two books, and edited an anthology of classical Chinese poems. He lives in New Zealand.

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