The idea of the Silk Road is an enduring concept. Originally created by 19th century Europeans to provide an understandable narrative of trade in the non-European world, it has become a romanticised term describing a route connecting 'the East and West', the assumed major powers of China and Rome. In Creating the Silk Road Khodadad Rezakhani challenges this assumption, providing an alternative narrative which does not gloss over the intricacies in the histories of the various regions, from Western China through to Iran and the Caucasus. By confronting the shortcomings of Eurocentric historiography, the somewhat artificial and nostalgic nature of the Silk Road concept is revealed, opening the way for a deeper scrutiny of the histories, languages and cultures of Eurasia.
Khodadad Rezakhani is Research Officer at the Department of Economic History at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), working on material and commercial progress in the post-Mongol/pre-Modern West and Central Asia. He was awarded his PhD in Near Eastern history at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).