Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Five books about the history we never learned

Robert N. Wiedenmann is Professor Emeritus of Entomology at the University of Arkansas. He received a BS in ecology and PhD in entomology, both from Purdue University. He is Past-President of the Entomological Society of America.

Wiedenmann was inspired to write The Silken Thread: Five Insects and Their Impacts on Human History (with J. Ray Fisher) after teaching a course at Arkansas called, "Insects, Science and Society."

At Shepherd he tagged five of the best books about the history we never learned, including:
The Silk Roads: A New History of the World by Peter Frankopan

This book is amazing. In addition to being encyclopedic in scope and detail, this highly readable "reference" book accounts for much of human history. Frankopan focuses on some two dozen 'roads'—some ancient, others recent, and several metaphorical 'roads' that were more historical processes than defined routes. He includes major historical events, but he also gives details that fill out and bring to life the greater stories. He begins with the role that the Silk Roads played on the history of silk, but those roads also were the basis of much of Eurasian history for millennia. This engrossing book is so well written that several times when I looked up a reference, I found that I had read another 20 pages.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Page 99 Test: The Silk Roads.

--Marshal Zeringue