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The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  3,496 ratings  ·  428 reviews
'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 t
Hardcover, 313 pages
Published December 1st 2018 by Bloomsbury Publishing (first published November 15th 2018)
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Steven Willmott It's a supplement that covers 2015 to now (with context from the late 1990s till now to help explain what's happening). I rate it a little lower than …moreIt's a supplement that covers 2015 to now (with context from the late 1990s till now to help explain what's happening). I rate it a little lower than the Silk Roads itself since it more a series of illustrative facts and less concrete thesis. However, it is still quite eye-opening: there are clearly power shifts going on around the world that aren't obvious if you don't look for them.(less)

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Tariq Mahmood
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, china
This is the modern version of Peter's wonderful history of Silk roads, so really should be read after reading the first one. Peter reckons that Russia, China, and Iran are forming the new challenge to the American top slot of the lone superpower in the world, with Turkey and Pakistan forming their scouts who will engage with the Americans to test its patience. China is effectively gearing up for a fight for the top spot after spending billions in many poor countries selling their alternate ideol ...more
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Conceived originally as a kind of postscript or epilogue to The Silk Roads that Frankopan released to much acclaim in 2015, this is more extended essay than full book. Covering the period from 2015 to 2018 as well as theorising about what may happen in the future, this is an intelligent, well-argued, evenhanded piece on the global financial, political, and cultural world of today. He's one of those writers who make you think: oh I get it now. He does this not by simplifying ideas but by writing ...more
kartik narayanan
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
I am under-whelmed and disappointed with The New Silk Roads.

For one, I was expecting something more profound. Rather, the author just gives us a list of news stories from the last 3-4 years and expects this to carry the book. Where is the analysis? Where are the opinions? The book basically regurgitates multiple points of view without actually adding anything new.

I am sorely disappointed. Avoid this book.
Roman Clodia
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't so much a book in its own right as an updated addendum to Frankopan's The Silk Roads. Essentially a long essay or thought piece, it reviews recent developments to 2018 in the sphere of global politics and broadly argues that whereas the old Silk Road nations are moving towards collaboration and constructive partnerships, the west is fragmenting and isolating: think Brexit or Trump's America First war cries. Of course, Frankopan is more nuanced than that... Worth a read for a top-level ...more
Lyn Elliott
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Peter Frankopan is so on top of his subject that what he wrote in this book, published in 2018, is acutely more relevant than it was at the time he wrote it. So often books on contemporary politics fall rapidly out of date, but not this one.

Frankopan’s essential thesis is that China is actively stimulating development of new wealth for itself and others through massive investment projects across much of the world, not just central Asia.

The rising wealth of China is affecting the whole world. C
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A caleidoscope of sources but light on personal touches and overall analysis - 2,5 stars rounded down

The Silkroads from Peter Frankopan is one of my favourite non-fiction read, big history done well and in a surprising manner. This follow up on the modern world in comparison dissapoints.

The sources and facts are plentiful but a synthesis and some kind of meaningful extrapolation to the near future lacks. We have open door conclusions like “America first is not as easy as it seems” and “no one kn
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5-informative-yet-underwhelming- starred-read
Gumble's Yard
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019
Peter Frankopan’s “The Silk Roads: A New History of the World” was one of my favourite books of 2016.

A hugely ambitious history of the world told very deliberately from a viewpoint centred on the areas of Central Asia, the Middle East and Southern Russia (and the trade routes that linked them) rather than the usual Eurocentric view and also written very much from a top down political/military/economic viewpoint of great people and events rather than as a social history, the book proceeded chrono
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
55th book for 2019.

Too many facts; not enough analysis.

Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Peter Frankopan has amazed us with another masterpiece book with a wide review of the important events happening in Asia and how they will affect the future! This book is more like an epilogue of his previous extremely interesting book, but it has many details that are quite mind-blowing to read!
Frankopan seeks to consider what the present and the future have in store for the Silk road countries and it really is enjoyable, in his analysis of this expanding economic development the Author has fo
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is more or less a postscript to Peter Frankopans' The Silk Road, released in 2016. Whilst the first book My review was quite an in depth history of the Silk Roads stemming from the East and their trade relations with the rest of the World, the conclusion never really covered the modern day that well. This latest book, coming in at just over three-hundred pages was released late in 2018 and it essentially deals with how the East (the China, Iran, Pakistan, India and Moscow and Caucasus State ...more
I haven’t had the benefit of reading the author’s The Silk Roads and am not encouraged to do so from reading what is essentially an appendix / update to it. I found this hard going. It feels like he has gone through news reports from the last three years and just listed everything that’s happening. I didn’t find much in the way of analysis. In summing up, Frankopan warns western readers not to focus solely on China, Russia and Iran when looking for reasons why the world is presently a more unsta ...more
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
I loved the original Silk Road by Frankopan--this book is a pointless update. It's just a survey of what is happening with Chinese and Middle eastern trade policy.
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
If the genre of “political Sinophile erotica” did not previously exist then I would like to congratulate Mr. Frankopan on being its founder. I purchased the book hoping to find a thought-provoking update to Frankopan’s interesting 2015 book The Silk Roads: A New History of the World. What I found was a hastily-crafted distillation of that previous book which takes Frankopan’s admiration of China and anti-Americanism to brave new heights without offering any really new or useful analysis of the c ...more
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
The follow up to The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, which became a bestseller Here, Frankpan picks up the story and looks at the present. The focus is on economics, trade and political developments. Western economies have become inert, their growth has been overtaken and the dynamism is in the east. While much attention has been paid to the rise of populism across the world, that masks what are arguably more important goings on that are covered in this book. The news media really needs ...more
A Man Called Ove
3.5/5 The author's Silk Roads is one of the best and most refreshing books on world history that I have read and so I had to read this one too. This book was conceived as an epilogue to Silk Roads and then was finally published as a separate book.
As a friend commented, this reads like "stitched headlines" from the recent years (published in 2018) with a focus on China (and Central Asia). The book described the rise of Asian countries and its implications pretty well. The One Belt One Road intiat
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not so much of a stand-alone non-fiction book but rather an extended (and revised) epilogue to the excellent The Silk Roads: A New History of the World. But even if you jumped straight in - there is still plenty to enjoy. I reckon it offers very fine journalist writing with an essential & insightful digest of the recent affairs (2016/17 onwards). Peter is a fantastic storyteller and he really helps to ‘join the pieces’ together and allow to see the patterns in time.

I would wish more people read
Andy Irwin
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Littered with typos and poorly edited, I can only assume there was a rush to get this out in time to get it in the hardback displays for Christmas. It requires revision for the paperback edition because this is a shoddy and irritating oversight from an eminent scholar.

It is also littered with statistics and only ever reaches the level of a quasi analysis of the current state of play in international relations. For much of the book, I found myself saying “yes that’s right” - which always worries
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the companion volume to the earlier historical work by the author. It works as a contemporary analysis in the age of Brexit and Trump. As a futures work it is far less convincing. I think that this is because it struggles to escape from the present, and falls into the trap of seeing the future as the same as the present, only more so.

I am very taken by the analysis of the present. In many respects, the opening of this book continues the story of the previous book. The previous book more
Muhammad Murad
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are a well-read person and keep yourself updated with world affairs then this might be a cliched read for you. The author has tried his best to analyse the news pieces from different parts of the world along with the tweets of President Trump and speeches of different world leaders at different forums. One can understand various events differently when it comes to world politics and that's how the author of this book has analysed the events taking place in the last 3-4 years vis-a-vis the ...more
"The Silk Roads are rising fast...What happens in the heart of the world in the coming years will shape the next hundred."
This book is a "continuation" or an update if you will of his previous book. With an intriguing, enjoyable and detailed analysis for the countries of the Silk Roads in the geopolitical puzzle.
The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World by Peter Frankopan, is an interesting analysis of the shifting geopolitics of our current world. Frankopan writes of the increasingly central role of Asia (in particular, Central Asia) in terms of political, social, economic and cultural importance. With the initiation of China's One Belt, One Road initiative, many China watchers have been closely scrutinizing the numerous multi-billion dollar projects popping up in Central Asia, South Asia ...more
Inderjit Sanghera
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Frankopan's precursor, 'The Silk Roads',  stands as one of the most important history books of the last decade. Frankopan is able to, with considerable candour and eloquence, upend traditional accounts of the relationship between East and West, one which is too often inaccurately skewed in the favour of the West and does not reflect how dominant Eastern thoughts and ideas have been to the rise of the West. 'The New Silk Roads' continues on from 'The Silk Roads' and focuses on the re-emergence of ...more
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great follow up of his first book, the current book continued the narrative of the rise of the countries in the Silk Roads. Russia, China and Iran will continue to challenge American hegemony.

1. Silk Road countries are banding together, and also building infrastructure from China’s Belt & Road imitative. Japan is following suit.

2. China is making friends and investing everywhere.

3. The more Iran & Russia are sanctioned by the US, the more they lean towards China.

4. The more US is going to r
There has been a plethora of books about China and it's economic and political rise in the early 21st century such as Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos and Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the Twenty-first Century by Orville Schell. However, too few of those books look at China in its regional context. That is a serious oversight considering China's Road and Belt Initiative that was announced a few years ago. In this valiant attempt to try t ...more
May 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5* This is the follow-up to Silk Roads, which I had only read about 30% before I put it aside. (I find non-fictions easier to consume as audiobooks.) However, this could be read on its own. This book explores the rise of China and non-Western countries in today's world. Not really surprising as the Western countries are increasingly isolationist and for some, even overtly xenophobic. Think Trump and his wall and his anti-immigration policies - not to mention his numerous inflammatory tweets. T ...more
Aug 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Busy life is stealing my reading time this summer so this was a disjointed read. This edition is updated from the 2015 original and was published in 2019 before the pandemic so it is a snapshot of a world that doesn’t know it’s about to be changed suddenly by a virus.

Frankopan’s stark message is that China is everywhere, moving swiftly into the global gaps left by an increasingly isolationist US. Its tentacles are especially prevalent in central Asia and across Africa funding enormous civil engi
Alex Givant
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book about state of current economy and how countries of Silk Road (China, -stans countries, such as Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, etc, Russia and other ones) impact world economy (been it pilot's salary, real estate prices in other countries, even donkey's price - which increased fourfold in last 10 years). One of the sample I liked is abolition of "one family, one child" China's rule in 2015 which leads to companies producing baby stuff (diapers, baby food, etc) to rise and condom companie ...more
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy Peter’s writing, I find it engrossing like his previous book The Silk Roads. This one was more about present day global and economic expansion; and was still a good read. His acknowledgments mentioned this was a book for the younger generation, so I believe this was a good release. Hope he releases more.
Imran Kazi
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reading this book is equivalent to closely follow political affairs across the globes by scrutinising newspapers and tv channels for last 15 years. It filled a gap of understanding the world affairs in me.
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Peter studied History at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he was Foundation Scholar, Schiff Scholar and won the History Prize in 1993, when he took an outstanding first class degree. He did his D.Phil (Ph.D) at Corpus Christi College, where he was elected to a Senior Scholarship before moving to Worcester College as Junior Research Fellow in 1997. He has been Senior Research Fellow since 2000 and i ...more

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