review: The New Silk Road
I got this book for free from Palgrave Macmillan's New Year sale. A great bargain for a book that was quite eye-opening. Having recently read The Silk Roads, this book stood out to me out of the books on offer from Palgrave Macmillan. In fact, the book seems to work pretty well as an extension to Peter Frankopan's The Silk Roads. It is a book about the radically growing economy of the east and the reawakening of trade along the original Silk Roads. Ben Simpendorfer recounts his journeys through markets in the Middle East and China while discussing established studies of economic growth of the area. He argues the case for the small-scale traders paving the way for economic reform and he establishes the power of women in the Chinese economic market. The book is very readable and most fascinating, especially to one who has little knowledge of global (especially Eastern) economics.
The book was published in 2009, before the Arab Spring, which gives the book a bit of an eerie taste, with its descriptions of Damascus and other areas of Syria which make you wonder what is left of the places that the author visited. Similarly, the message of hope for the Middle East that the book carries is now known to be partly lost. I really hope that this author (or someone else) writes a new book that will cover how trade has now changed due to the Arab Spring and the change of powers throughout the Middle East. In the meantime, I highly recommend this book and give it a neat:
published: Sun Jan 22 2017