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For people who like their history sweeping – both in time and place – you cannot get more sweeping than this! The timespan covered is pre-history up to the present day (well, about 2014) and the subject of the book is the continuing flux of relationships between ‘east’ and ‘west’ and how this has been set in motion by the trade route known as ‘The Silk Road’. In the course of the book, there is consideration given to the influence of the Mongols, the Roman Empire, the Spanish exploitation of ‘the New World’, and of course our own dear Blighty. The final chapters cover the seminal role of oil in Iran and Iraq and how the American Empire has tried to monopolise it. A really important history book illustrating in spades how history has shaped, and continues to shape, our modern realities.
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