Tracking Trade-inspired Globalization Over More Than a Millennium

Commentaries and Op-eds April 22, 2016, The Washington Post

This absorbing but curiously misnamed book is more than the story of the “Silk Roads” and less than a “History of the World.” Peter Frankopan, an Oxford specialist on Byzantium, presents some two dozen “roads” or episodes in the history of Europe and Asia over two millennia, of which the Silk Road phase is only one. And while he claims to write a history of the world, whole civilizations and continents, including Africa and the Americas, enter his story only when they come under the influence of Europeans. Japan barely rates a mention. His real focus is the Eurasian landmass, and his goal is to convince readers that the stories of Asia and Europe are really one, that they interacted constantly in the past and that they do so even more today.

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