The Silk Roads

  • by Peter Frankopan
  • Narrated by Laurence Kennedy
  • 24 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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, and it was the appetites for foreign goods that drove economies and the growth of nations. From the first cities in Mesopotamia to the emergence of Greece and Rome to the depredations by the Mongols, the transmission of the Black Death, the struggles of the Great Game, and the fall of Communism - the fate of the West has always been inextricably linked to the East.
By way of events as disparate as the American Revolution and the world wars of the 20th century, Peter Frankopan realigns the world, orienting us eastward and illuminating how even the rise of the West 500 years ago resulted from its efforts to gain access to and control of 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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What the Critics Say

"What does history look like if we shift our focus eastward and give due prominence to those who traversed the Silk Roads? This is the question Frankopan answers in this immensely entertaining work. Many books have been written which claim to be 'A New History of the World'. This one fully deserves the title.... So ambitious, so detailed and so fascinating...The Silk Roads demonstrates why studying history is so important." [Gerard DeGroot, The Times (UK)]
"It's time we recognized the importance of the East to our history, insists this magnificent study.... The breadth and ambition of this swashbuckling history by Peter Frankopan should come as no surprise.... 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.... Deftly constructed.... The Silk Roads is a powerful corrective to parochialism." [Justin Marozzi, The Sunday Times (UK)]
"A book of dazzling range, ambition, and achievement." (William Dalrymple)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent!

I like the new look on the old story and how it is woven from the same information but show different picture. I congratulate Mr. Frankopan on unique perspective on the world and thank him for this wonderful book.
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- Ozren Muić

Western history, but no more

A free-flowing and exciting take on Western history. That said, I was drawn to this book expecting a fresh "Eastern" perspective, and it comes up way short.

From Mesopotamia to the Crusades, Frankopan simply retells familiar stories. Then, as the West grows, he focuses more and more on them, with only courtesy glances back East.

He does take extra time to write about The Great Game, Russia's early attempts imperialism in the Middle East, as well as the 20th century oil-fueled politics that helped lead us to where we are today. However, imagine a history book promoted as this one was, but with a full chapter on the Opium wars, or on Japan's invasion of Manchuria, or on Bangladesh's Liberation War, or on the fall of the Ottoman Empire, anything without the filters of Anglo-America all over it.

For my money, I'd rather give Francis Fukuyama's book, The Origins of Political Order, a read for a decent pre-French-Revolution history of China and India and the Middle East.
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- Aaron Taylor

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-16-2016
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a Division of Recorded Books