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The silk roads : a new history of the world…
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The silk roads : a new history of the world (original 2015; edition 2015)

by Peter Frankopan

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,031486,186 (3.97)66
"Our world was made on and by the Silk Roads. For millennia it was here that East and West encountered each other through trade and conquest, leading to the spread of ideas and cultures, the birth of the world's great religions, the appetites for foreign goods that drove economies and the growth of nations. From the first cities in Mesopotamia to the growth of Greece and Rome to the depredations by the Mongols and the Black Death to the Great Game and the fall of Communism, the fate of the West has always been inextricably linked to the East. The Silk Roads vividly captures the importance of the networks that crisscrossed the spine of Asia and linked the Atlantic with the Pacific, the Mediterranean with India, America with the Persian Gulf. By way of events as disparate as the American Revolution and the horrific world wars of the twentieth century, Peter Frankopan realigns the world, orientating us eastwards, and illuminating how even the rise of the West 500 years ago resulted from its efforts to gain access to and control these Eurasian trading networks. In an increasingly globalized planet, where current events in Asia and the Middle East dominate the world's attention, this magnificent work of history is very much a work of our times"--… (more)
Member:kstoneburnerbet
Title:The silk roads : a new history of the world
Authors:Peter Frankopan
Info:London : Bloomsbury, 2015.
Collections:Your library
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The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan (2015)

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» See also 66 mentions

English (40)  Dutch (5)  Spanish (1)  Latvian (1)  French (1)  All languages (48)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
A history of the world focused on what the author describes as the heart of the world, the area stretching west from the Mediterranean to the Himalayas and across Central Asia to China.

It was interesting and enjoyable seeing the history told from a different perspective. It was not as different a perspective as the hype for the book made it appear as is shown by the way the timescale slowed right down for the 19th and 20th centuries, a period of greater European and American involvement in the region, with decades given more space than earlier centuries. Nevertheless, this a book I would like to come back to at some point in order to mull over some of its insights further. ( )
1 vote Robertgreaves | Sep 2, 2021 |
Listened to the audiobook. ( )
  KittyCatrinCat | Aug 29, 2021 |
Note: My rating is really 3.5 out of 5 stars; it would have been 4 stars (or higher) if not for a few problems (10 that I wrote down, which is a little more than “a few,” I guess) I had with the book, which I will be going over in this review.

1. this only happened once or twice - and only within the first 10 pages - but there were one to two times where it sounded as if Frankopan was inserting his own opinion into the narrative, which is unprofessional in my opinion.
2. he made a lot of generalizations throughout the book, which bothered me.
3. he talks a lot about how the Mongols were depicted in a bad light, but he didn’t, at least to my notice, try to convince us otherwise except for one instance on page 174.
4. this isn’t a big deal, but there were moments - like on pages 172, 181 and 203, for instance - where he makes no effort to say that an author of a source might be unreliable, while with others he flat out says that they’re unreliable.
5. there were a few times, like on page 236, where he states something that’s blatantly obvious when there were better ways to say it.
6. on pages 284-292, he kept backtracking in time, making it confusing about what year he was focusing on.
7. the second half, for me at least, felt like a very dumbed down version of John Julius Norwich’s “The Middle Sea.”
8. with some people, he uses their last name all the time, yet with others, he only states their position, which makes it confusing given the fact that more than one person can hold that same position (or similar positions).
9. the map on page 358 shows trade routes during WW2; I think that’s what he was trying to focus on (trade routes during both World Wars), but he got too off topic...and for about 108 pages
10. for about 108 pages - from about 284 to about 392 - he talks about all the technicalities, mechanics, alliances and enemies made during the World Wars when I think he should have ONLY focused on the trade routes during the World Wars; he could have spared us about 108 pages by taking out the re-iterated info that most of us already knew (or should have already known) about WW1 and WW2 and saving it for a book specifically on the World Wars
— Add On —
Would I call this “A New History of the World”? No, I wouldn’t. He brings up a lot of interesting new takes, but I definitely do not consider this a new history of the world.
This book is the first one - out of the 23 I’ve read so far - where I was left wanting to finish it to get it over with and to add on to my reading challenge goal (and not because I wanted to see where in history it ended, which is why I usually want to finish books).
I had relatively decent hopes for this book, and they weren’t met. I don’t hate this book, I just feel mentally exhausted by it, and not in a good way.
The first half was well written, but the second half was not as good.
I would be willing to give this book a better chance (and a better rating if I feel like it deserves it), but it won’t be any time soon. ( )
  historybookreads | Jul 26, 2021 |
This is a really good book. Most of the history I read is about specific period of time or a specific event. This book is a broad sweep of history. It is about seeing the forest and not just the trees. ( )
2 vote LamSon | Apr 15, 2021 |
I found this book fascinating, particular the chapters on the last 100 years. ( )
1 vote PGWilliams71 | Jan 31, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Frankopanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bayer, MichaelÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cannillo, TullioTraduttoresecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Handberg, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kennedy, LaurenceNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Noriega, LuisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nyquist, GunnarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Villeneuve, GuillaumeTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
We halted in the country of a tribe of Turks...we saw a group who worship snakes, a group who worship fish, and a group who worship cranes.
--Ibn Fadlan's Voyage to the Volga Bughars
I, Prester John, am the lord of lords, and I surpass all the kings of the entire world in wealth, virtue and power...Milk and honey flow freely in our lands; poison can do no harm, nor do any noisy frogs croak. There are no scorpions, no serpents creeping in the grass.
--Purported letter of Prester John to Rome and Constatinople, twelfth century
He has a very large palace, entirely roofed with fine gold.
--Christopher Columbus' research notes on the Great Khan of the East, late fifteenth century
If we do not make relatively small sacrifices, and alter our policy, in Persia now, we shall both endanger our friendship with Russia and find in a comparatively near future...a situation where our very existence as an Empire will be a stake.
--Sir George Clerk to Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary, 21 July 1914
The president would win even if we sat around doing nothing.
--Chief of Staff to Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstaan, shortly before 2005 elections.
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To Katarina, Flora, Francis and Luke
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Preface: As a child, one of my most prized possessions was a large map of the world.
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"Our world was made on and by the Silk Roads. For millennia it was here that East and West encountered each other through trade and conquest, leading to the spread of ideas and cultures, the birth of the world's great religions, the appetites for foreign goods that drove economies and the growth of nations. From the first cities in Mesopotamia to the growth of Greece and Rome to the depredations by the Mongols and the Black Death to the Great Game and the fall of Communism, the fate of the West has always been inextricably linked to the East. The Silk Roads vividly captures the importance of the networks that crisscrossed the spine of Asia and linked the Atlantic with the Pacific, the Mediterranean with India, America with the Persian Gulf. By way of events as disparate as the American Revolution and the horrific world wars of the twentieth century, Peter Frankopan realigns the world, orientating us eastwards, and illuminating how even the rise of the West 500 years ago resulted from its efforts to gain access to and control these Eurasian trading networks. In an increasingly globalized planet, where current events in Asia and the Middle East dominate the world's attention, this magnificent work of history is very much a work of our times"--

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