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The New Silk Roads

The Present and Future of the World
Narrated by: Leighton Pugh
Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
Categories: History, World
4.5 out of 5 stars (550 ratings)

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Summary

All roads used to lead to Rome. Today, they lead to Beijing.'

When The Silk Roads was published in 2015, it became an instant classic. A major reassessment of world history, it compelled us to look at the past from a different perspective. The New Silk Roads brings this story up to date, addressing the present and future of a world that is changing dramatically.

Following the Silk Roads eastwards, from Europe through to China, by way of Russia and the Middle East, The New Silk Roads provides a timely reminder that we live in a world that is profoundly interconnected. In an age of Brexit and Trump, the themes of isolation and fragmentation permeating the Western world stand in sharp contrast to events along the Silk Roads since 2015, where ties have been strengthened and mutual cooperation established.

With brilliant insight, Peter Frankopan takes a fresh look at the network of relationships being formed along the length and breadth of the Silk Roads today, assessing the global reverberations of these continual shifts in the centre of power - all too often absent from headlines in the West. This important - and ultimately hopeful - book asks us to reassess who we are and where we are in the world, illuminating the themes on which all our lives and livelihood depend.

©2018 Peter Frankopan (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

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Dull

The first Silk Roads had me constantly coming back for more, including listening to it twice. it was a fantastic book which dealt with a complex topic in an eloquent way.

The follow up read more like a weak attempt to follow up on the former books success. This is something it fails to do by reading like a mere list of current world events.

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating. I learned something in every chapter

I loved this audiobook as it revealed things to me that I didn't know before. I learned something in every chapter. This was one of my books of the year 2018.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • r
  • 08-03-19

very biased

The basic message from this book is that the Western dominance of the world for 300 hundred years was an abberation. That China and the Silk Road nations will rise up and dominate the world.

The fact that most of these nations are dictatorships, have no rule of law and no free press is irrelevant. China, Russia and Iran are forces for good in the world while the West especially Donald Trump's America is negative.

While there are lots of interesting facts in the book I am amazed that a thesis based on the "End of the West" does not seek to explain its rise. The writers view that the Chinese are a benevolent force for the world and always thinks about Win Win for everyone seems niaeve at best. Would the Muslms, in the West of China, agree to this view? Would the Taiwanese be nodding their heads in approval not to mention the Tibetans who actually get zero mention in this book.

If the message of this book is that China and Russia and the "Stan" nations, along the Silk Road, represent the future it is a grim future indeed if you do believe in Democracy, human rights and a free press. However awful you may think Donald Trump is there is a legal system intact that may bring him down and a free press that regularly criticises him. And at best or worst he can only be in power for 8 years. For the writer these facts get in the way of his story and for him, at least, we should simply focus on the Rise of The Silk Road Nations and the much glorified and praised "Belt and Road iniative" ...

53 of 65 people found this review helpful

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I learned a lot

Fascinating subject matter, well explained for the average reader, helped me to put a context around apparently unconnected events in world politics. Also the narrator, Leighton Pugh, has such an easy voice to listen to and an engaging style.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Not certain he's not cherry-picking

I bought this on the recommendation of an aunt, and while I'm glad I've readt it (it explains the whole Belt and Road initiative for China to expand it's trade networks across the world through helping partners to build infrastructure (sometimes shouldering the costs). It's interesting and entertaining and makes the point quite neatly that the Western world are basically about to be written off as irrelevant. That said, I can't help but feel that the examples offered are cherry-picked to support the theory rather than entirely fair. It also fails to notice that the design and research that goes into the products that are driving this expansion come almost universally from the west.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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The balance of power goes from west to east

An update to Frankopan's bestselling and widely acclaimed The Silk Roads. Having covered world history in his previous book, he now looks at the present. The focus is overwhelmingly on economics, trade and political developments. Our news media should certainly pay more attention to what's happening in Central Asia, China and Southeast Asia. The interconnections of the world means that what happens in one part can great affect another. The future of the west will be deeply intertwined with what happens in China. When there is talk of a conflict between the US and China, it is worrying as financial markets and trade are deeply dependent on China.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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A particularly well written Guardian editorial

The book is simply too caught up in the then current events of a few months ago and seems very dated already due to the fast paced and ever changing nature of Trump's presidency. Frankopan is ultimately a better historian than he is a journalist with the book constantly stumbling into well worn arguments against Trump and Brexit that are by now very boring.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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The world in balance

Many news papers or documentaries give us an extremely narrow minded view of the rest of the world: mainly bad and dangerous. This is a brilliant account of a better helicopter view. Great!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • HellRazor
  • In Transit. An eclectic gourmand rather than a picky gourmet.
  • 24-11-18

The Sun Sets In The West and Rises (once again) In The East.

Frankopan is a solid writer, he writes clearly but sheds light on nothing new here.

The author has a defining point of view and he is no Americanophile.

China wins as the US curls up like a man in a street fight as the rest of the world kicks it.

End of.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Flows less well than the prequel

More like an academic thesis than popular book. Often reads like a long list of quotations. Interesting none the less, but a slog to get through.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Stef
  • 17-08-19

insightful

the world is in a constant state of flux, and Peter Frankopan explains this brilliantly.