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The Silk Roads

A New History of the World
Lu par : Laurence Kennedy
Durée : 24 h et 13 min
Catégories : Histoire
3,5 out of 5 stars (2 notations)

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Description

It was on the Silk Roads that East and West first encountered each other through trade and conquest, leading to the spread of ideas, cultures, and religions, and it was the appetites for foreign goods that drove economies and the growth of nations. From the first cities in Mesopotamia to the emergence of Greece and Rome to the depredations by the Mongols, the transmission of the Black Death, the struggles of the Great Game, and the fall of Communism - the fate of the West has always been inextricably linked to the East.

By way of events as disparate as the American Revolution and the world wars of the 20th century, Peter Frankopan realigns the world, orienting us eastward and illuminating how even the rise of the West 500 years ago resulted from its efforts to gain access to and control of these Eurasian trading networks. In an increasingly globalized planet, where current events in Asia and the Middle East dominate the world's attention, this magnificent work of history is very much a work of our times.

©2016 Peter Frankopan. Published by arrangement with Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Production copyright 2015 by Audible, Inc. Audible Studios is a division of Audible, Inc. (P)2016 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

Commentaires

"A book of dazzling range, ambition, and achievement." (William Dalrymple)
"What does history look like if we shift our focus eastward and give due prominence to those who traversed the Silk Roads? This is the question Frankopan answers in this immensely entertaining work. Many books have been written which claim to be 'A New History of the World'. This one fully deserves the title.... So ambitious, so detailed and so fascinating... The Silk Roads demonstrates why studying history is so important." [Gerard DeGroot, The Times (UK)]
"It's time we recognized the importance of the East to our history, insists this magnificent study.... The breadth and ambition of this swashbuckling history by Peter Frankopan should come as no surprise.... A book that roves as widely as the geography it describes, encompassing worlds as far removed as those of Herodotus and Saddam Hussein, Hammurabi and Hitler.... It is a tribute to Frankopan's scholarship and mastery of sources in multiple languages that he is as sure-footed on the ancient world as he is on the medieval and modern.... Deftly constructed.... The Silk Roads is a powerful corrective to parochialism." [Justin Marozzi, The Sunday Times (UK)]

Ce que les auditeurs disent de The Silk Roads

Notations
Global
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Interprétation
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Histoire
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Il n'y a pas encore de critique disponible pour ce titre.
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  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Michael Jennings
  • Michael Jennings
  • 20/12/2018

Poorly Executed Thesis

I have been stewing on this review for 2 weeks, because 2 weeks ago I decided I hated this book. However, I forced myself to finish it so you would not have. This book is not what it is advertised to be. It is an overambitious and eurocentric project that ultimately fails in executing the key thesis of the book: Central Asia is the crossroads of the world. This book looks at Central Asia more through case studies than by providing a tight comprehensive narrative of the Silk Roads I would say this book is a pretty average book, until the 12 hour mark. That's when the wheels fall off of this car. The author spends the rest of the book discussing Europe and its interaction with Central Asia and more in the context of case studies: Russia and England's rivalry in the age of imperialism, the Cold War and Iran, and finally the War on Terror. The author dedicates an entire chapter to the Discovery of the Americas. It is beyond me why he needed to spend that much time on a thing tangentially connected to Central Asia. I was bewildered that this book that claims to be the history of the Silk Road maybe dedicates an hour or hour and half to China. China being the genesis of the Silk Roads. This is probably the most frustrating part of my experience because it was the reason I purchased the book and the blurb seems to state that China will be discussed. The Silk Road and Europe's interaction has been exhaustively covered in the historiography already. Its nice to have it all in one place, but I fail to see how this adds to the discussion about the Silk Road. In addition to this Eurocentrism, the author chooses to emphasize narratives that are pretty thoroughly explored already like the Shah Palavi's despotism and then ignore the MYRIAD of Central Asia satellite states to the USSR whose lineages trace back to the pastoral nomads that served as the energy that fueled the Silk Road. They all get a sentence each in the conclusion... I think the author does a really good job in the first half. His discussion of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism's interaction on the Silk Road was nuanced and you can tell by the author's qualifications that he should be talking about that stuff. His discussion of modern history leaves much to be desired, including an alarmingly sympathetic portrayal of the Taliban. The reader was the definition of okay. He had great vocal characteristics and my hatred of this book might reflect poorly on him. The only real issue that nagged at me was his use of stereotypical character voices for non-European figures that show up in the book. How is my experience enhanced by some English dude using a stereotypical Indian accent? It was not and marginally offensive. If you want to have a good understanding of classical and post-classical Eurasia, I would recommend you pick up this book. However, the second you hear the author discuss Christopher Columbus, delete this from your phone.

61 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Mom in Santa Fe
  • Mom in Santa Fe
  • 29/07/2016

What Really Makes the World Go Round

What made the experience of listening to The Silk Roads the most enjoyable?

The wealth of information in this book is enlightening. Anyone who will devote the time to listen to this book once may well have to listen at least once again because the content is so well-researched and so full of cross-cultural background and historical detail.

What did you like best about this story?

The author brings to light aspects of history that are just not taught in schools and universities. The historical web of trade and commerce as the engine of world history is absolutely fascinating.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Laurence Kennedy?

The narrator was problematic for me. In English he is terrific, and I could listen to any strictly English language book from him. Any other language is not his forte. As a fluent speaker of Spanish I was dismayed by the lack of knowledge and terrible mispronunciations throughout the text. The narrator tripped on words inl other languages as well.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The entire concept of The Silk Roads moved me.

46 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Damian
  • 04/04/2019

How can a historian do such splendid research,

only to give in to the tired 21st century bromide of the “West is Evil” but everyone else is OK? The inference is overwhelming from page one. Almost every outrage committed by the people of Asia, the Middle East and Africa is glossed over - invasions, genocide, imperialism, slavery - the latter existing (and STILL thriving) long before the discovery of America, but no Western misdeed is overlooked. Sample some of the gems: Europe was “Less peace minded than the rest of the world” and the “Golden Age of Europe was forged by violence, covetness, etc.”. What else? Oh yeah, “world war...found its origins in Europe.” Really? No Islamic atrocities? No empire of the sword? Ghengis Khan? Tamerlane? The massacre of Hindus and Christians everywhere? Cross the Atlantic and New World genocide is limited to European acts...not a whisper of Native Empires built on the mass murder and subjugation of neighboring tribes. Only Cortez and Columbus are demons....Montezuma and his knife wielding priests? Victims. Cortez could’ve never defeated the Aztecs without the assistance of long tormented natives. What else? Not a single mention of Armenian Genocide by the Turks, a single sentence devoted to the Battle of Lepanto, but interminable chapters on Germany’s invasion of Russia, leaving me to wonder if this was book on the history of the silk road or a review of operation Barbarosa and Nazi evil. This is an unapologetic Philippic against all things western. Unfortunately this view of history garners a wide and sympathetic audience…So much so that primary sources can be ignored, historical fact disregarded, and a hypocritical double standard is not only the acceptable norm,but the laudable end. Whatever happened to the school of Will and Ariel Durrant? The truth is, the long lamentable history of human misdeeds is not the sole provenance of a single people or geographic area, and in my mind, Scholarship should not take a backseat to someone’s preconceived prejudices. This is not to say that the story told by the author is anything but fascinating and certainly worthy of revelation. He has an engaging style and if you are inclined to embrace a Howard Zinn-like version of history where conviction is more important than the-whole-story, this book is for you.

28 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Partin
  • 16/01/2020

misleading subject, poorly read.

I was very interested in the title and synopsis of this book, but rather than focusing on the East and it's historical interaction with the West it focused on the middle-east and it's importance from a western perspective, seemingly all to build a case against modern day American intervention and policy in Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The reader and editing team did a terrible job, with noticable pauses, breaths, sipping water, and even a few coughs. Disappointing.

16 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ozren Muic
  • 31/03/2016

Excellent!

I like the new look on the old story and how it is woven from the same information but show different picture. I congratulate Mr. Frankopan on unique perspective on the world and thank him for this wonderful book.

36 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Aaron Taylor
  • 18/07/2016

Western history, but no more

A free-flowing and exciting take on Western history. That said, I was drawn to this book expecting a fresh "Eastern" perspective, and it comes up way short.

From Mesopotamia to the Crusades, Frankopan simply retells familiar stories. Then, as the West grows, he focuses more and more on them, with only courtesy glances back East.

He does take extra time to write about The Great Game, Russia's early attempts imperialism in the Middle East, as well as the 20th century oil-fueled politics that helped lead us to where we are today. However, imagine a history book promoted as this one was, but with a full chapter on the Opium wars, or on Japan's invasion of Manchuria, or on Bangladesh's Liberation War, or on the fall of the Ottoman Empire, anything without the filters of Anglo-America all over it.

For my money, I'd rather give Francis Fukuyama's book, The Origins of Political Order, a read for a decent pre-French-Revolution history of China and India and the Middle East.

132 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Glenn
  • 31/10/2016

Anything east of where you are

Through more than half of the book I was going to give this 1 star. Its title and introduction are all about the Silk Road, but the substance of the first 2/3 is European history with little more than mentions of 3 things that came from the area of the silk road: Mongols, Islam, and the black plague; and their effects on European history. Other areas that get somehow included are western Russia, India, and the spice islands. Maybe India can be included in the silk road narrative, but the other two are stretches. It's not until modern times that the book focuses on the silk road area, and that focus is mainly on the south western portion. That's when the book gets interesting. The focus the is on the importance of the non-soviet silk road nations in the cold war, their oil, and the machinations of western countries to dominate their politics and their resources.

66 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Betty Staley
  • 14/09/2016

Comprehensive and provocative

Get ready for a long winding journey from ancient to contemporary times. This is a remarkable work that is dense and yet accessible. As I was listening towards the end, I found the book in the Copenhagen airport so I will listen to the book again as well as read particular chapters. He lays out the arrogance of Britain in the. 19th century and the US in the 20th. Much to ponder.

13 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MissVee
  • 29/04/2016

Good content, weird narration

Comprehensive history of everywhere you didn't learn about in school. Author quotes historical figures in strange, B-movie accents. Distracting.

37 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicholas Handler
  • 15/11/2016

Horrible Narration

Mr. Kennedy's narration is distracting and appalling. As other listeners have mentioned, he uses ridiculous and sometimes offensive "foreign" accents for every quotation in the book. He also labors through the sentences, often injecting long pauses in the middle of sentences for no apparent reason. There are repeated mispronunciations of some fairly well known names (personal and geographic). Laurence unfortunately seems out of his element and perhaps out of his league. This spoils what otherwise should be a fine, if somewhat meandering piece of scholarship.

4 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • peter mimms
  • 04/04/2017

A revelation

A superbly written history of the silk roads. Brings everything together and really challenges the "western centric" history many of us europeans got taught at school. A must read for anyone who is interested in thinking about how today and possibly tomorrow relats back to decisions and actions of many years ago.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marc Dierckx
  • 22/12/2016

The road to Ariadne

Peter Frankopan takes us on a journey through the mists of time beyond Eurocentric views of the last couple of centuries. Silk is the material that is used keep the story on track and to guide us back and forth along century old trading paths. His well planned guidance weaves a silken tapestry of stories that were observed along these tracks. Its radiance is soft, its overall structure well proportioned and its detail stunning. Indeed a tapestry worth of more than just a glimpse and one that could become an heirloom for generations to come.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile