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The Silk Roads: A New History of the World

Far more than a history of the Silk Roads, this book is truly a revelatory new history of the world, promising to destabilize notions of where we come from and where we are headed next. From the Middle East and its political instability to China and its economic rise, the vast region stretching eastward from the Balkans across the steppe and South Asia has been thrust into the global spotlight in recent years. Frankopan teaches us that to understand what is at stake for the cities and nations built on these intricate trade routes, we must first understand their astounding pasts.
Frankopan realigns our understanding of the world, pointing us eastward. It was on the Silk Roads that East and West first encountered each other through trade and conquest, leading to the spread of ideas, cultures and religions. From the rise and fall of empires to the spread of Buddhism and the advent of Christianity and Islam, right up to the great wars of the twentieth century—this book shows how the fate of the West has always been inextricably linked to the East.

Also available: The New Silk Roads, a timely exploration of the dramatic and profound changes our world is undergoing right now—as seen from the perspective of the rising powers of the East.

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Anonymous says:

Examining the Long History of What is now Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan Author Peter Frankopan sets out, mostly successfully, to reorient our knowledge of history as taught in Europe and North America — history as viewed through the lens of Western Civilization courses. My quibble is that this is still a view of Central Asia though European eyes, and arguably the author pays slight attention to the history of ancient India and China and overplays the history of Central Asia and Western misconceptions of the Mongols.Frankopan’s main thesis is that the…

Anonymous says:

Surprisingly Disappointing I was very disappointed after reading all the wonderful reviews. Maybe they are reading a different book? I had assumed we would be learning about the history of the silk roads and the many dynasties that rose and fell along the route – the Songdians, the cities of the Tamir Basin for example. I thought this would be an Asian centric book showing the silk roads impact on Han Dynasty China and the steps that had to be taken to keep the route secure. I thought we would learn of the earliest use…

Anonymous says:

Diminishing Retuns An interesting start gives way, as the book progresses, to an increasingly bizarre and hysterical insistence that the premise of the thing is relevant when it is clearly not. True, from late antiquity through the early modern era, central Asia, when not the heart, was at least the crossroads of the world, or at least the Eurasian world; the book suggests that the Americas outside of the United States and most of Africa have little relevance to mankind. However, in screaching to claim central…

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