Scholars have long used “Silk Roads” to refer to ancient east-west trade routes. According to historian Peter Frankopan, however, modern day Silk Roads are more than networks for the exchange of goods – they’re a state of mind. In this engaging study of global geopolitics, Frankopan explains that, when a Chinese titan of industry buys a soccer club in England or a condo in Vancouver, he’s traveling a post-globalization version of the Silk Roads. But while China, India and other emerging nations seem keen on such activity, the United States and Europe have lashed back at this new approach to commerce.
Frankopan makes a persuasive case for the idea that the East – particularly, China – is expanding its influence at an unprecedented rate. Indeed, even those who feel well-versed in the idea that the West is losing its dominion may find themselves surprised at the degree to which China is driving global trends and staking its claim in locales around the world. Stylistically, Frankopan’s well-chosen examples and effective use of history, leveraged to help with understanding the modern-day drive to create new Silk Roads, will keep readers engaged despite the serious subject matter.
About the Author
Peter Frankopan is professor of global history at Oxford University, where he is also senior research fellow at Worcester College.