• Post category:Reviews

Review: The Silk Roads: a new history of the world, by Peter Frankopan

Review: The Silk Roads: a new history of the world, by Peter Frankopan

Here is history on a grand scale. No less than 3000 years of the roads travelled east and eventually west to create the world as we now attempt to know it. The rise and fall of empires and kingdoms, the birth of new religions. The flow of power and wealth initially from Greece and Rome eastward, the discovery of the economic and military power of the orient.

The Silk Roads is a fascinating history of physical trade routes, culture and ideology dominated by the middle and far east until voyages from Spain and Portugal culminated in the discovery of the ‘New World’. The expropriation of the riches of the Americas allowed Europe to reorder its role in the world. Importantly Frankopan’s examination of more contemporary history demonstrates how that previous dominance is now itself moving, perhaps inexorably, again to the east.

History indeed on a grand scale (just over 500 pages) but written beautifully with interesting and amusing anecdotes to bring a very human touch to an extremely ambitious book.

NB We have a copy of The Silk Roads in the library