The No. 1 Sunday Times and international bestseller - a major reassessment of world history in light of the economic and political renaissance in the re-emerging east.
'Magnificent' Sunday Times
'Immensely entertaining ... so ambitious, so detailed, so fascinating' The Times
For centuries, fame and fortune were 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 riches and adventure. Sweeping right across Central Asia and deep into China and India, a region that once took centre stage is again rising to dominate global politics, commerce and culture.
A major reassessment of world history, The Silk Roads is a dazzling exploration of the forces that have driven the rise and fall of empires, determined the flow of ideas and goods and are now heralding a new dawn in international affairs.
Upending the traditional narrative of Western enlightenment and world domination as the inevitable descendants of Greek and Roman intellectual ferment, Oxford historian Frankopan (The First Crusade) places the silk roads the long, remote Central Asian trading routes linking Europe and China at the center of human history. The silk roads served as conduits for goods and ideas as well as plagues and marauding armies, and their location at the nexus of Europe and Asia continues to drive world events today. Frankopan casts his net widely in this work of dizzying breadth and ambition. Casual readers may struggle to follow all the threads; those opening to any page will find fascinating insights that illuminate elusive connections across time and place. Frankopan's thoughts on Islam, for instance, begin with newly discovered "wisps of text" that are reshaping understanding of Muhammad's life and stretch across centuries to the modern luxuries of the "oil-soaked" Middle East. The Black Plague carried west by the Mongols devastated Europe and the Middle East, but "the plague turned out to be the catalyst for social and economic change that was so profound that far from marking the death of Europe, it served as its making." Frankopan approaches his craft with an acerbic wit, and his epochal perspective throws the foibles of the modern age into sharp relief.