Thursday, 13 August 2015

The Silk Roads A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan

The Silk Roads

A New History of the World

by Peter Frankopan

Published: 27-08-2015 
Format: Hardback  
Edition: 1st 
Extent: 656 
ISBN: 9781408839973 
Imprint: Bloomsbury Publishing 
Illustrations: 2 x 8pp colour plates 
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm - See more at: 

The sun is setting on the Western world. Slowly but surely, the direction in which the world spins has reversed: where for the last five centuries the globe turned westwards on its axis, it now turns to the east…

For centuries, fame and fortune was to be found in the west – in the New World of the Americas. Today, it is the east which calls out to those in search of adventure and riches. The region stretching from eastern Europe and sweeping right across Central Asia deep into China and India, is taking centre stage in international politics, commerce and culture – and is shaping the modern world.

This region, the true centre of the earth, is obscure to many in the English-speaking world. Yet this is where civilization itself began, where the world's great religions were born and took root. The Silk Roads were no exotic series of connections, but networks that linked continents and oceans together. Along them flowed ideas, goods, disease and death. This was where empires were won – and where they were lost. As a new era emerges, the patterns of exchange are mirroring those that have criss-crossed Asia for millennia. The Silk Roads are rising again.

A major reassessment of world history, The Silk Roads is an important account of the forces that have shaped the global economy and the political renaissance in the re-emerging east.


“Scholarly and yet accessible, and unashamedly partisan, The First Crusade, as any vibrant history should, is bound to set a lot of feathers flying” –  Daily Telegraph
“Convincing and accessible” –  Sunday Times
“A book of dazzling range, ambition and achievement” –  William Dalrymple, 
“Many books have been written which claim to be “A New History of the World”. This one fully deserves the title…It is difficult, in a short review, to do justice to a book so ambitious, so detailed and so fascinating as this one” –  Gerald DeGroot, The Times
“The author's gift for vividness is reminiscent of Jan Morris, while his command of revealing facts or fancies is not far short of Gibbon's” –  Felipe Fernández Armesto, Literary Review
“A nuanced and often counterintuitive story of power politics, international diplomacy and war and, ultimately that very rare thing - a truly fresh interpretation of an old story” –  Time Out
“A book that roves as widely as the geography it describes, encompassing worlds as far removed as those of Herodotus and Saddam Hussein, Hammurabi and Hitler…It is a tribute to Frankopan's scholarship and mastery of sources in multiple languages that he is as sure-footed on the ancient world as he is on the medieval and modern” –  Justin Marozzi, The Sunday Times
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The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan

It’s time we recognised the importance of the East to our history, insists this magnificent study

The Sunday Times    Justin Marozzi  Published: 9 August 2015
Travelling salesmen: merchants in Iraq; from a 1237 miniatureTravelling salesmen: merchants in Iraq; from a 1237 miniature (Bridgeman Images)
The breadth and ambition of this swashbuckling history by Peter Frankopan should come as no surprise. The epigraphs set the scene from the first page. Frankopan, an Oxford don, a Byzantine specialist and the author of an acclaimed history of the crusades, includes Ibn Fadlan, a 10th-century Arab traveller, Christopher Columbus, a letter from the diplomat Sir George Clerk to the British foreign secretary in 1914 and a wry comment from the chief of staff to Nursultan Nazarbayev, the dictator-president of Kazakhstan since 1990. This is a neat representation of a book that roves as widely as the geography it describes, encompassing worlds as far removed as those of Herodotus and Saddam Hussein, Hammurabi and Hitler. Frankopan’s aim is to rebalance fundamentally our traditional understanding of history by demonstrating both the criticality of the East and the interconnection of the East and the West from the dawn of history.

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