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The New Silk Roads: The New Asia and the Remaking of the World Order Kindle Edition
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International Praise for The New Silk Roads:
“Masterly mapping out of a new world order… Peter Frankopan has gone up in the world since his bestselling Silk Roads history was published to great acclaim in 2015—and deservedly so.”
–Justin Marozzi, Evening Standard
“Frankopan has written another valuable and idiosyncratic book. He has the gift of perspective— the capacity to see the wood for the trees—which he combines with a Tolstoyan knack for weaving little details into the broader sweep of human affairs.”
–Jamie Susskind, The Daily Telegraph
“Frankopan is a brilliant guide to terra incognita.”
–Niall Ferguson, Sunday Times
“A pacy, bang-up-to-date exploration of how China’s commercial and political heft is changing the way the world works.”
–James Kynge, Financial Times
“Frankopan has written as prescient a modern history as possible … [His] skill is that he able to step back a few more paces from the world map and global events than most modern commentators, whilst encouraging us to use history as a way of looking forward than regressing into the past.”
–Joseph Wilkins, Total Politics
“A compelling, accessible account of the shift in global economic power... For anyone with an interest in global politics.”
–Nicole Abedee, Financial Review
“If you are only going to read one non-fiction book in the coming year, let it be The New Silk Roads by Dr. Frankopan... This book has all the answers and some more.”
–Qudsia Sajjad, News on Sunday
"[D]iverting, eclectic and has serious intent. Its thesis that Eurasia is developing a sense of cohesion, largely powered by China’s restless ambition, is a sound one."
–Roger Boyes, The Times
“Entertaining. . . . Peter Frankopan has a sharp eye for startling facts, and no reader will leave The New Silk Roads with her sense of the state of the world unchanged”
—Richard Drayton, Times Literary Supplement
"A state of the world address… Energetic…pin-sharp, up-to-date."
–Ben East, The National (UAE)
About the Author
- ASIN : B07JYPSNL4
- Publisher : Vintage (March 26, 2019)
- Publication date : March 26, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 5351 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 338 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #187,311 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This book reads like a political commentary catered to readers with strong negative feelings toward the current US administration. The emphasis would be justified if brexit, Trump, and other similar events in the past few years turned out to be historical pivotal events, but we do not know, and this is a question best left to future generations of historians.
As a fan of his first book, I wished he did not write this book. There are plenty of books on China's ambitions, there are plenty of books arguing for and against the current US adminstration, and there are no shortage of books on the US China relationship. This book adds neither new material nor insights. Other than the catchy title, I don't recall learning anything from reading this book.
As a former diplomat, professor of international relations, and harsh critic of Trump's foreign policy (as well as the Iraq War and other U.S. misadventures), I find a few items in The New Silk Roads that might influence my views. But there is no real framework for evaluating the abundance of repetitive and random facts (or, more often, reports and statements) that fill paragraph after mind-numbing paragraph in this book. It is not a difficult read; Frankopan is a good writer. But it is a terribly light read. There is no indication at all that Frankopan did serious research for this volume. And his evaluation of sources is terribly wanting -- a serious shortcoming for a professional historian.
I have not read Frankopan's earlier The Silk Roads. It must be vastly better than this, given the reviews. The New Silk Roads was certainly inspired by the earlier volume. Inspired, it seems, by the thought "I can make a lot more money without any real work."
Top reviews from other countries
Peter Frankopan sees, all across Asia, a strong sense of states trying to work together and to elide their interests while putting differences behind them. Chief among these is the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, President Xi of China‘s signature economic and foreign policy, which uses the ancient Silk Roads – and their success – as a matrix for Chinese long term planning. Since the project was announced in 2013, nearly $1 trillion has been promised for infrastructure investments, mainly in the form of loans, to around 1,000 projects.
Peter Frankopan describes in some detail the Roads to the East, being Russia, Pakistan, India and the Middle East; the Road to the Heart of the world including Iran, Kazakstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan , Afghanistan, Georgia and Turkey.
One reason for the optimism across the heart of Asia is the immense natural resources of the area. The Middle East, Russia and Central Asia account for 70% of proven oil resources, 65% of natural gas resources, 75% of silicon, 85% of rare earths like yttrium, dysprosium, and terbium, which are essential for super-magnets, batteries, actuators and laptops, and 80% of world heroin production.
But Frankopan maintains the Initiative is not just driven by raw materials. As opposed to Trump’s inconsistent and adversarial behaviour, he maintains that President Xi’s international relations are based on win-win cooperation. He is moving to fill a vacuum left by the US and Europe’s isolationist and self- indulgent politics and to provide Chinese leadership that emphasises the benefits of mutual cooperation.
The Initiative is by no means plain sailing. The rivalry with the US and the imposition of sweeping tariffs by Trump is examined, military disputes in the South China Seas, the conflict between India and Pakistan and the risks of indebtedness and non payment of loans are all discussed.
Peter Frankopan contrasts the collaborative approach of the Chinese with the arbitrary, isolationist and short term nature of Trump’s foreign policies. And quotes numerous examples of the contradictions of US strategy. For instance, Saudi Arabia has become the pillar of US policy in the Middle East. One reason is its oil wealth but another is the prodigious amount of money it spends on US weapons. But Russia is active in wooing Saudi Arabia, including fighting alongside it in Syria. With the US’s Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, US arms sales are prohibited to any nation that buys Russian weapons. This means that if Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others can be persuaded by Moscow to switch allegiances, then they fall decisively out of Washington’s orbit.
Compared to the Silk Roads and Asia, Europe is not so much moving at a different speed as in a different direction. Where the story of Asia is about increasing connections, improving collaboration and deepening cooperation, in Europe the story is about separation, the re-erection of barriers and ‘taking back control.’ Brexit provides good example of this, but so do rising anti-EU movements in Italy, Germany, Poland, Hungary and elsewhere – and support by hundreds of thousands of people for independence in Scotland and Catalonia.
Frankopan quotes King Zhao who ruled China nearly 2,500 years ago and declared ‘a talent for following the ways of yesterday is not sufficient to improve the world of today.’ Understanding what is driving change is the first step in being able to prepare and adapt to it. The fact is that the Silk Roads are rising. How they develop, evolve and change will shape the world of the future.
Hard to argue. Certainly a sobering and topical book.
1) Refuse to touch the actual reasons behind events. The book mentions that Syria and Iraq are in chaos, as if this simply came to be. Whose fault is that? Everybody knows, yet being written by a Westerner, the author refuses to even remotely say anything about it. At least in my opinion, the prospects of countries wanting to co-operate with China and not wanting to co-operate with the West, i would have naively thought that whether or not they have been invaded and destroyed by the US-of-A will most probably play a role in their decisions. None of the catastrophic consequences of Western foreign policy are seriously discussed.
2) Refuse to touch the actual reasons which underline the decline of the West, which are: DE-industrialization, exploitation of the labor via "flexible" working and zero-hour contracts which have destroyed the purchasing power of millions of citizens of the western countries, at the moment when many more millions of workers see their income soar in the East,
3) Witch-hunting about Russia and "election-meddling" at every opportunity, at the moment when even the very same US Congress reached the conclusion that there was no "collusion" or any involvement of Russia whatsoever (Although to be fair , the book was written in 2018 and those findings were not out yet. But then again, neither was the "meddling" ever proved, so why does the book take the liberty to present it as actual fact?).
4) Reference of the-death-of-500,000-iraqi-children-was-worth-it, Madeleine Albright in expressing opinion about democracy (page 43).
5) The author clearly is not comfortable with concepts like the will of the majority, since we see in inverse quotations ('the will of the people') references to the Democratic election of the British people to exit the EU. In a similar vein, not even Western-planted elections observers had anything to comment regarding the elections processes in Russia. Yet the "author" calls president Putin 'dictatorial'. Do I need to ask whether the "author" has even visited Russia, or whether has he ever talked with the Russian people itself to hear how the 'dictatorial president' has led Russia to the most prosperous era in the entire history of the country (What Putin calls: "Historical justice")?
6) Labeling Venezuela a 'failed state' as if the "author" is oblivious to the war america has raged on the country, since President Chavez nationalized the country's oil resources and took them away from Private american oil corporations.
This is clearly a book written by a mainstream westerner: a neo-liberal westerner of the the typical, irresponsible type.
The development of AI and robotics in Russia and China, with their enormous potential military applications, place the world at a point of great uncertainty. This all makes for sobering reading. We must hope China uses its new position of emerging world leadership wisely to preserve the peace and to live up to the fine words of its leadership.
Beautifully written, erudite and engaging, this is an excellent addendum to the fine 'Silk Roads' by the same author