Book review: “Shadow of the Silk Road” by Colin Thubron

I picked up “Shadow of the Silk Road” by Colin Thubron (2007) because I was curious about the modern societies along the Silk Road. The author travels from China to Turkey. Along the way, he meets people grappling with their culture and the political climate in their country. I really like the maps that are included in the book. One map is an overview of the author’s journey. The book is divided into three sections. Each section has a map with the specific path the section describes. The author visits many historical sites in the countries along the Silk Road. He compares the current environment to past situations and historical leaders. It is quite a history lesson with tourism rather than lectures. There is also a historical timeline at the back of the book. It lists events in different regions in chronological order. The different regions are: China; Central Asia; Iran; and the West. The time covered is from 4000 BC to 2004. It’s only four pages long, but I found the timeline extremely helpful. It gives an overview of history so one can figure out what was happening in the rest of the world during a particular time. The book was a very good read and I recommend it to anyone interested in the Silk Road and the countries between China and Turkey.

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