National Non-Fiction November: The Silk Roads


From the Ancient World to the present day, ‘The Silk Roads’ is a fascinating look at some of the history which is missing from the traditional school curriculum! The silk roads ( so named by Ferdinand von Richthofen) were where East and West first met and along these routes that trade and conquest led to the spread of inventions, culture, beliefs and ideas as well as violence and disease. For teachers looking at ‘an early Islamic civilization, including a study of Baghdad c. AD 900’ as ‘a non-European society providing contrasts with British history’, this text makes excellent background reading.


In the introduction, the author explains his fascination with those areas of the world he never learned about at school and how he has since spent his life reading and writing about history and looking for connections to help explain the world better.


The book is packed with fascinating details, but the reader needs a fairly good basic understanding of world history as a context to really enjoy ‘The Silk Roads’, but this does not stop it being an intriguing and enjoyable read. The overall quality of the text- the beautiful cover, the thick, satisfying pages, its size- makes reading it a real joy.


An excellent starting point for further investigation, ‘The Silk Roads’ offers a wider perspective on history, broadening the reader’s understanding of the history of the world in which we live.

The Silk Roads Peter Frankopan, illustrated by Neil Packer

Bloomsbury ISBN: 978- 1408889930