The Year 1000
A review of

The Year 1000

When Explorers Connected the World – and Globalization Began

Valerie HansenScribner • 2020

A Thriving Little-Known World

by David Meyer

Award-winning historian Valerie Hansen dispels any myths about Europeans “discovering” already-thriving lands which, in fact, were participating in globalization long before ships sailed from Europe.

Award-winning historian Valerie Hansen – who teaches Chinese and world history at Yale University – offers a well-researched, engaging and original portrait of a fascinating era. She explains that – aside from the Vikings’ ranging – Europeans mostly exploited established trade routes rather than “discovering” the world. Hansen, who also wrote the compelling The Silk Road: A New History, details how globalization began more than 1,000 years ago. She moves with grace from civilization to civilization and from telling granular detail to offering an evocative overview, all in lively, engaging prose. Even for those vested in history of this time, Hansen likely offers many surprises.

Parallel books you may enjoy – though you might want to start with Hansen’s The Silk Road – include Gavin Menzies’s 1421: The Year China Discovered America and Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harris.


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