West meets East

The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan places trading routes of Central Asia at the  epi-center of human history.   Through these routes came goods and with them, “the spread of ideas, cultures and religions.”  Later, they became pathways for conquest.  The Silk Roads is “a terrific and exhilarating read” which offers “a new perspective on world history (Kirkus Reviews).”  Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade is the Fox anchor’s breathless account of America’s encounter with North African brigands in the 1790s.  Want more on this period in our history?  Ian Toll’s Six Frigates is a “fluent, intelligent history” of these events.   And in Who Speaks for Islam?, John Esposito reports on the ‘silenced majority’ of the Islamic world, as revealed by massive Gallup survey.  Religious scholar Karen Armstrong says that this books  “should be required reading.” Native contains Sayed Kashua’s stories on life as a native Palestinian living in Israel.

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