quarta-feira, março 29, 2017

The Silk Roads, by Peter Frankopan

This is a really excellent book, an extremely enjoyable read, especially for History nerds like myself that were always fascinated with the East and the intricacies of History. The premise is very interesting - a universal history centered in the region between East and West, the famed Silk Roads, instead of Europe as we're used to. This shift of perspective makes for a reappraisal of several historical events under a new light - the same events, some different considerations. One has to know world history to appreciate it, because there are several facts only alluded to or not even covered, like the french revolution or the Enlightenment period.

I think there are two weaknesses in the book though: the first is the author doesn't try to explain how the West (meaning Europe) became the main determinant of the events since the 16th century, mostly due to the scientific revolution (Yuval Harari explains it extremely well in Sapiens); the other is his - in my opinion - misjudged appraisal of the present situation of the Central Asian countries. Yes, they may be experiencing a phase of extreme wealth due to their natural resources, but I don't think that means they're back to being the determinants of world history. Like the Iberian countries after the discoveries, their wealth is temporary and the real moving forces of world history are in the Western world due to their scientific and technological hegemony.

Anyway, I liked this book immensely, it reads like a novel, it's full of interesting and very well researched information, and it helps to understand our world history in an original and intelligent perspective. Peter Frankopan wrote a true masterpiece, and I look forward to read his other books.

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