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September 16, 2015 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

The Silk Roads: A New History of the World

New History of the WorldLast night, I went to the book launch of Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads: A New History of the World. It’s a momentous occasion when a new history of the world is launched – not something that happens everyday let alone every few years. It was great to hear him talk about how the book came about & how he went about writing it (literally, history in the making). My grandfather was an historian & I’ve always enjoyed research (hence my ongoing Apley archive research), so this struck a chord with me. Having caught up with a few friends, I bought 6 signed copies as Christmas pressies for our extended family ! It was one of those occasions which reminded me of some of the reasons why I love being in London – dynamic, inspirational, choices, social, fun, friends. So easy to get out & about to such events – we were home & back (to humdrum daily life) 10 mins later. The reviews are outstanding & the others there last night clearly shared the general excitement. I can’t wait for the audio version to be published, so we can all listen in the car. Afterwards, it was quite hard to get on with normal life (ordering school socks & catching up with work emails) – everything seemed rather insignificant in comparison !

It’s succinctly summarised here: 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.

One Comment

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  1. Corinna Hamilton / Sep 16 2015 9:02 am

    Fascinating, Harriet and I so much look forward to my Christmas present!


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