the silk road book review

In fact, after twenty-one pages of detailed discussion of steppe and sedentary interactions, dragon motifs, the ubiquity of belt plaques, and gender roles, the only firm conclusion she is willing to offer her readers is that these earrings were “an indication of wealth and status.”. Best books to read about the Silk Road – a list for senior travellers. ... in 1930. After surveying the modern history of these earrings being lent by Chinese museums for international exhibitions abroad, Whitfield makes the astute observation that they have never been displayed as part of an exhibit focused explicitly on the Xiongnu, instead being advertised as part of better known—yet grossly anachronistic and geographically misleading—steppe confederations such as the Mongols or Scythians, or more recently as part of “Silk Road” exhibitions. You’d think it was mad coincidence, but actually it’s more like inevitability. review of another edition Shelves: history, world-history, nonfiction The Silk Roads is part of the genre of popular history books that purports to tell the history of the world through one particular theme or from one particular vantage point, and is better than most of them. • The New Silk Roads is published by Bloomsbury (£14.99). And with the five remaining chapters not intimately associated with China, Whitfield takes the reader well beyond the usual geographical and cultural parameters of most Silk Road studies. For me, this was one of the most intriguing parts of each chapter, and I often found myself wishing that Whitfield had devoted even more space to these afterlives. This is a marvelously erudite book that tells the story of the extraordinary importance of Central Asia to the transmission of culture, religion and ideas along the Silk Road. They are the digital revolution and, pre-eminently, climate change. A glance at the history of modern imperialism will showthat the holders of global power live in glass houses, and there are plenty of stones to go around. The earrings, along with many other artifacts dating to the Xiongnu era and that of other nomadic polities in East and Inner Asia, were undoubtedly described, as Whitfield herself notes, with great accuracy in the fine print on each accompanying placard. The Silk Road Revisited. To order a copy go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. And while China may be a game-changing market for Starbucks (which is planning to open 2,000 coffee shops there by 2021), as Europe once was for Chinese tea, such consumption shifts don’t pack the ecological punch of the Columbian exchange. Of particular note in this regard are Chapter 3, which expounds upon the discovery of a hundred gold Kushan coins in the Axum kingdom of present-day Ethiopia, and Chapter 7, which highlights a single folio from the so-called Blue Qur’an as a springboard to discuss the history of book production, the complex dying process, the use of “golden” ink, and, of course, the integral role of Islam, which often receives short shrift in treatments of the Silk Road. But it can also be quite jarring for readers accustomed to Silk Road narratives that take refuge in more definite and familiar interpretive prisms, such as politics and religion. With the exception of the final chapter, which examines the commodity of slaves, each object is accompanied by a striking color image and a detailed map of the locations and trade routes associated with it. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. Peter Frankopan doesn’t mention Mackinder, but this was the terrain he chronicled in his sweeping 2015 history The Silk Roads. in this engaging survey. The New Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan review – the present and future of the world Power is shifting eastwards... travels in central Asia prompt a breezy analysis of how the world will be Most scholars choose to frame their narratives through the familiar prisms of politics, religion, and geography. The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a sacred Buddhist scripture that offers guidance for the transition from life to death, a liminal space known as the “bardo,” and a means to ease the self into a favorable rebirth.This text, exploring existence and meaning, is noted as “among the animating spirits” by Kathryn Davis in the acknowledgements of her latest novel, THE SILK ROAD. Much of the novel is written in the first person plural. A Eurasian Economic Union already reaches from Belarus through Russia to Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, and has engaged in trade talks with Iran. Frankopan occasionally overreaches rhetorically, as when he describes Eurasia’s surging economic power as “similar to what happened in the decades that followed the crossing of the Atlantic by Columbus … and the near-simultaneous rounding of the southern tip of Africa by Vasco da Gama”. What The New Silk Roads contributes is a concise illustration of this shift from a Eurasian vantage point. A “dry port” at Khorgos, on the Chinese border with Kazakhstan, acts as a giant dispatch centre for goods shipped in from coasts well over 1,000 miles away, while a spanking new seaport sits on the Caspian shores of Turkmenistan. Silk Road offered a place for drug consumers around the world to trade high quality products anonymously, free from violence or police interference, and for a surprisingly long time, it fulfilled its promise of a borderless black market. Her more recent The yeaar 10000 is a much better choice for the general reader. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. And as the Chinese know best of all, you don’t have to be formally colonised to find yourself at the mercy of outside powers. Upon further review, Hyecho’s Journey turned out to be the perfect thematic companion to the Silk Road for an introductory course on Asia. Video Before reading Whitfield’s book, I spent the last twenty-three years believing that I had visited a “Genghis Khan” exhibit, when in fact I had seen an exhibit filled mostly with Xiongnu, Khitan, and Jurchen artifacts that predated the Mongols by hundreds and in some cases over a thousand years. Over the course of ten chapters, Whitfield analyzes ten separate objects, using each one to highlight major themes of cultural, economic, religious, and political exchange across Eurasia. The Silk Roads, which covers several continents and many centuries, is based on astonishingly wide and deep reading and in all areas draws on … In 2015 Peter Frankopan published his bestselling 'The Silk Road' with the rather bold subtitle 'a new history of the world'. My book focuses on seven Silk Road sites and proceeds in chronological order. In her new book, Susan Whitfield adopts a novel lens: objects. Because of the genuinely global sweep of Chinese investment, Frankopan’s “new Silk Road” is often less an account of what’s happening in the heartland itself than it is a chronicle of the latest stage in modern globalisation. Then again, one doesn ’ t mention Mackinder, but this was the he... Impression on me than did the posters and brochures surrounding the event in! 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York review of the world will be Marco Polo are presented in rough chronological order based their. Of an impression on me than did the posters and brochures surrounding the event that... Communities along the Silk Road sites and proceeds in chronological order based on their estimated of! Susan Whitfield adopts a novel lens: objects history of the New York review of Books go to or... The first person plural general reader is no less bold eastwards... travels in central asia prompt a analysis...

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