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The Silk Roads


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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

About the Author

Peter Frankopan is Senior Research Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford, and Director the Centre for Byzantine Research at Oxford University. He took a First in History and was Schiff Scholar at Jesus College, Cambridge, before completing his doctorate at Oxford, where he was Senior Scholar at Corpus Christi College. He has lectured at leading universities all over the world, including Cambridge, Yale, Harvard, Princeton, NYU, King's College London and the Institute of Historical Research. His revised translation of The Alexiad by Anna Komnene was published in 2009 and The First Crusade was published in 2012.


Brilliant and fearlessly wide-ranging … undaunted by the complexity of the material, and the scale of the subject he has taken on, Frankopan marches briskly through the centuries, disguising his erudition with an enviable lightness of touch, enlivening his narrative with a beautifully constructed web of anecdotes and insights, backed up by an impressively wide-ranging scholarly apparatus of footnotes drawing on works in multiple languages … This is history on a grand scale, with a sweep and ambition that is rare … a remarkable book on many levels, a proper historical epic of dazzling range and achievement

Breathtaking and addictively readable - History Book of the Year
*Daily Telegraph*

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
*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
*Literary Review*

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
*The Sunday Times*

Splendid ... tightly researched ... invigorating and profound [with] enough storytelling to excite the reader and enough fresh scholarship to satisfy the intellect...charismatic and essential
*Daily Telegraph*

The Silk Roads, which covers several continents and many centuries, is based on astonishingly wide and deep reading and in all areas draws on the latest research...it is full of vivid and recondite details

This is, to put it mildly, an ambitious book...Frankopan writes with clarity and memorable detail

Timely … it deserves a place by the library fireplace
*Country Life*

Dazzlingly good ... [Frankopan blends] deep scholarly skill with a real literary talent
*Evening Standard*

Bold and ambitious

Full of intriguing insights and fascinating details

With extraordinary erudition and a vivid style, [Frankopan] takes us on a dazzling tour ... from the rise of the first empires right through to the present
*Open (Weekly)*

It’s the details that win it. Did you know that Attila’s Huns wore coats made from mouse skin?
*Sunday Express*

[Frankopan] tells a good story … with great panache. [The Silk Roads] is full of enthralling anecdotal details … Frankopan’s research is impeccable. The Silk Roads is based on information from sources in well over a dozen languages. It has a sweeping canvas and covers more than 2,000 years of history …[an] exhilarating rollercoaster ride
*New Delhi Business Standard*

Hugely ambitious in its scope
*China Today*

A compelling narrative and is jam-packed with stories. It contains numerous snippets of information that shed new light on major world events
*China Daily*

Essential reading

A compelling political, economic and social history that is as much about how we will live as how we once did
*World Travel Guide*

Beautifully constructed, a terrific and exhilarating read and a new perspective on world history
*History Today*

An often exhilarating tour of 2,000 years of history ... Frankopan upends the usual world-history narrative oriented around ancient Rome and Greece and the irrepressible rise of Europe ... In The Silk Roads, Peter Frankopan has provided a bracing wake up call.
*The National AE*

As incongruous it may seem to call an intensely-researched 600-page tome with 100 pages of footnotes a romp, The Silk Roads is a fluent, page-turning gallop through the roughly 2500 years from ancient Persia and Alexander the Great to the present day ... If one had to choose an up-to-date volume from which to glean an overview of world history, this might well be it
*Asian Review of Books*

As well-written, entertaining, disturbing and exciting as a detective story
*Svenska Dagbladet*

Frankopan handles his material deftly and has an eye for telling details...a clear theme is that globalisation is not a new phenomenon. This is essential reading
*Prosper Magazine*

A dazzling piece of historical writing
*South China Morning Post*

The most illuminating book of the year ... A healthy antidote to Eurocentric accounts of history [and] an impressive, if depressing account of the disastrous Western interventions in Central Asia
*Times Literary Supplement*

A very well-written and wide-ranging study, founded on reading of staggering breadth and depth ... Strikingly up to date. The author has used the most recent scholarship to impressive effect ... And he is evidently constantly rethinking in the light of new scholarship ... The book is full of fascinating insights ... No one could read it without learning a great deal, or without having their conception of the course of history radically challenged
*Times Literary Supplement*

Frankopan casts his net widely in this work of dizzying breadth and ambition ... Frankopan approaches his craft with an acerbic wit, and his epochal perspective throws the foibles of the modern age into sharp relief
*Publisher's Weekly*

This book lives up to its claim to be a new history of the world because of its geopolitical paradigm shift … He is a Herodotus of the twenty first century
*Irish Left Review*

Breathtaking … inverts received wisdom … superb history charts mankind’s flirtation with global disaster
*New Zealand Herald*

Enticing, sometimes enchanting … An exceptionally, eclectically, eccentrically wide range of subjects
*Sydney Morning Herald*

A thumping good read
*Sunday Times, South Africa*

Frankopan shows that even in ancient times trade and culture bound distant people togethers ... A rare book that makes you question your assumptions about the world
*Wall Street Journal*

'Superb … Peter Frankopan is an exceptional storyteller … The lands of the Silk Roads are of renewed importance, and Frankopan’s book will be indispensable to anyone who wants to make sense of this union of past and present
*Dallas Morning News*

Sumptuous, intriguing and surprising
*The Week*

*Times Literary Supplement*

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