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Reading/Author Talk: Brian Eyler

Celebrated for its natural beauty and its abundance of wildlife, the Mekong River runs thousands of miles through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Its basin is home to more than 70 million people and has for centuries been one of the world's richest agricultural areas and a biodynamic wonder. Today, however, it is undergoing profound changes. Development policies, led by a rising China in particular, aim to interconnect the region and urbanize the inhabitants. And a series of dams will harness the river's energy, while also stymieing its natural cycles and cutting off food supplies for swathes of the population.

In LAST DAYS OF THE MIGHTY MEKONG, Brian Eyler travels from the river's headwaters in China to it delta in southern Vietnam to explore its modern evolution. Along the way he meets the region's diverse peoples, from villagers to community leaders, politicians to policy makers. Through conversations with them he reveals the urgent struggle to save the Mekong and its unique ecosystem.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Brian Eyler is the director of the Stimson Center's Southeast Asia Program in Washington, DC. Previously, he directed study abroad centers in Beijing and Kunming, China for IES Abroad and led numerous study tours throughoutt the Mekong region.