The Unbearable Lightness of Writing a Great and Readable History Book

I like that title. Among other invocations [e.g. The Unbearable Lightness of Being] it points to an invasion we are experiencing right now noticed by many; ignored by some, and celebrated by enough people who have never known the past, or have forgotten it. The story happens in and around the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, which outraged many, but not enough to do much about it. It was tolerated or ignored otherwise for decades. If you do not have time to read the book, then try to find the movie and watch it. George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This statement over time so repeated has turned into a cliché’ and a truism. But, it is simply true. Human civilization pretends to be established and enduring. But, as a species, including the age of the oldest bones ever recognized to be human-like, we have had the equivalent history of a fruit fly’s life span on this planet compared to the actual age of this Earth.

There are too many who yet cannot remember the past, and have no idea it matters. Those who donot remember the past, can drag us down the same rotten path over and over again. You want a more accurate picture of what human history has entailed? Then be lucky enough to get a copy of Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan and read it; especially the foreword that explains why he wrote this book.

The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan

“This is history on a grand scale, with a sweep and ambition that is rare… A proper historical epic of dazzling range and achievement.” —William Dalrymple, The Guardian 

Silk Roads cover

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