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The Silk Road: Two Thousand Years in the Heart of Asia

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  124 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
The Silk Road, a series of ancient trade routes stretching across Central Asia to Europe, evokes exotic images of camel trains laden with bales of fine Chinese silk, spices, and perfume, of desert oases surrounded by snow-capped mountains, of bustling markets thronging with travellers buying and selling grapes, coriander, Baltic amber, and Mediterranean coral. Along this r ...more
Paperback, 270 pages
Published September 20th 2004 by University of California Press (first published January 1st 2002)
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Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
THE SILK ROAD. (2002). Frances Wood. ****.
This was a special publication of The Folio Society, a worthy addition to any armchair traveler’s library. Imagine you are on vacation. Starting out from Anxi, you go on to Hami, then Bezeklik, then Turfan, and Karashahr, to Kucha, to Aksu and Tumchug, and finally reach Balkh. Where are you? You are on the northern route of the Great Silk Road, wondering how you will ever walk again after you get down from your camel. As you may have guessed, the Great S
Grace Tjan
Sep 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, wanderlust, 2009
This book is a well-illustrated, very readable introduction to the Silk Road and the various countries that it traverses. Wood's brisk narration is lively, and she has a knack for selecting interesting passages from various travelers’ reports on the area, from Marco Polo (who Wood believes to have never traveled to China at all) to Aurel Stein, whose controversial excavations at Dunhuang shed light on esoteric documents that had been sealed up in a cave for a thousand years. Besides Western trav ...more
Silvio Curtis
Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been aware for about a year and a half that Central Asia was a major gap in my knowledge of history. I hoped that this book would help fill that in and it had plenty of solid information in it, mixed in with surprising anecdotes from the ancient chronicles. It talks about the history of quite a few of the peoples who've lived in the region, or at any rate the history of their dealings with China and Europe. For most of them it does a good job of giving a sense of where these peoples came fr ...more
Chairul Rahmat
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dennis Boccippio
Mar 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
My interest in central Asia has been piqued since a recent homestay trip in Mongolia. Since then, the "-istan's", for me hidden behind the opacity of the Cold War for most of my life, have been a source of mild intrigue. Reading "The Silk Road" has added significant color - if not necessarily clarity - to my familiarity with the tangled history of the region.

The book is readable, if not necessarily fully accessible, to non-academics, presuming significant familiarity with the region and its peo
Aug 08, 2010 rated it liked it
I read the paperback edition of this book and it has no maps in it which is significant since the book is about the exploration of the Silk Road. Other editions have end paper maps. The author explains that she tried to use the best known of the names for the places in the book, however some of the choices make it difficult to locate the places referenced on modern maps and others sound very dated -- using Peking rather than Beijing, for example.

The Silk Road uses 245 pages of text and photogra
Ayse Arf
Jul 12, 2010 rated it liked it
A really good introduction to the Silk Road and it's metamorphoses over time. It's not the most comprehensive history, but that's sort of what makes it good. There's such a huge amount of information about this trade route's thousands of years of history that dwelling on the details would have made this book totally inaccessible for the casual reader. I may not remember from reading this which languages were at which times and in which places lingua franca on the road, but I at least remember wh ...more
The Silk Road consists of several chapters in central-Asian history, with generous photographs of the landscape or art connected to the region. If readers are interested primarily in the Silk Road's heyday, the volume may be mildly disappointing, as the chapters on exploration, archaeology, and looting in the 'modern' age (19th century and continuing) constitute half the book. There is much of interest, however, and all of that archaeological looting is still firmly connected to central Asia's g ...more
Koen Setyawan
Jul 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Menceritakan jalur sutra dari zaman ke zaman. Jalur sutra bukan hanya jalur perdagangan, melainkan urat nadi adonan berbagai kebudayaan tempat berbagai bangsa saling bersinggungan, berhubungan, dalam perang dan damai, tempat muncul dan hilangnya peradaban dan tempat tinggal berbagai suku bangsa. Jalur sutra adalah jembatan budaya yang menghubungkan dunia Barat dan Timur. Penulis menyusun kisahnya dari remah-remah catatan kuno dan terbaru, agenda para penjelajah, hikayat dan dongeng para pendeta, ...more
Jan 22, 2012 rated it liked it
This book has a lot of very lovely illustrations -- it is about half illustrations. The text was mostly dry, of the general form like [person or group I never hear of] did something at [place I never heard of], without a lot of additional explanation. It all seemed disconnected. Nevertheless, the book was helpful in giving a sense of history of the region from ancient times up through the middle of the 20th century.
Aug 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that has some dry parts, but then there will be a burst of wonderful learning. I did lots of online research while reading this one. It got me more interested in Jade and Silk and the 'mysterious' East. China has a very rich history and because I know next to nothing about it, this book helped me to learn a little bit more, this is always good.
Robert Wilson
Aug 22, 2015 rated it liked it
This book is a pretty good introduction to the eastern end of the Silk Road, and it is very well illustrated. It does not, however, venture very far beyond the eastern part of the silk road. While it is well written, I was a little surprised by some of the items it focus on, such as Tsarist era officials and explorers. All and all a goof but incomplete introduction to the Silk Road.
Ann Chamberlin
Dec 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Although this book had great illustrations and pointed me in the direction of good books to read, especially among early western travellers, it seemed to me the author of this one was too dependent on quoting others--especially for a University Press book.
Fredrick Danysh
Oct 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Trade has been conducted over land routes between Europe and Asia for thousands of years. The caravan routes were called the Silk Road. This is a history of that trade.
Mar 19, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
19 MAR 2014 -- see Mr Tony's wonderful review:
Aug 20, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-mongols
Good reference on the silk road, fairly easy to read.
Homer Harianja
Feb 24, 2012 marked it as to-read
salah satu buku diskonan di gramedia sudirman. tepat dugaan saya. Sabar menunggu obralan buku2 humaniora lain keluaran elex media.
Really pretty pictures!
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Jean-jacques Rousseau
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K.V. Johansen
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Jul 02, 2013
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