At one point in the not so distant past, there was one view of history. The dominant power largely determined that view. In his book The Silk Road, Peter Frankopan, a Senior research fellow at Worcester College and the director of the Centre for Byzantine Research from Oxford University, sets out to rewrite history or at least retell history from a different point of view. William Dalrymple in his Guardian review writes, “Frankopan marches briskly through the centuries, disguising his erudition with an enviable lightness of touch, enlivening his narrative with a beautifully constructed web of anecdotes and insights, backed up by an impressively wide-ranging scholarly apparatus of footnotes drawing on works in multiple languages For Frankopan, the Silk Road(s) were the center of life itself, because many cultures traverse those paths and connected and conflicted with each other. Frankopan states, “there was good reason why the cultures, cities and peoples who lived along the Silk Roads developed and advanced: as they traded and exchanged ideas, they learnt and borrowed from each other, stimulating further advances in philosophy, the sciences, language and religion. Progress was essential”.
Frankopan does an excellent job of shedding light on the influence of the Silk Road on all of the current civilization. Like the internet, Frankopan has shown us that we indeed do and have lived in a globalized world. Mihaela Gligor, in his review, adds excellent insight to this point saying,
Peter Frankopan has a pressing reason to promote the silk roads’ history from cultural relegation. Since in present days we are living in a globalised present, most of us are profoundly ignorant of our past and of our common foundational myths. Peter Frankopan’s volume reminds us that some brand new things are basically extremely old, and that one-way system is a recent invention.
The phrase, brand new things are basically extremely old, stood out to me for several reasons but mainly because it is a concept that I have been learning in life and leadership recently. Barna Group just released its largest study of the emerging generation across the globe, and as we expected, the internet has caused everyone and everything to change at a rapid pace. In the study Sifiso Pule says,
The internet has enabled people to access communities they self-identify with at an exponential scale, and it enables fast dissemination of information in a decentralized manner. This is both a good thing and a bad thing in that it has enabled those same individuals and communities to become polarized, leading to fragmentation and forced assimilation: “You’re either with us or you’re against us.” The internet has been elevated as the primary source of “truth,” which has led to mass deception and mass social engineering to conform to particular interest groups’ set of norms.
While the internet is new, how it is being used as the source of truth is not. People and leaders have been trying to get their message out since the “dawn of time,” this new thing makes it faster and easier to put people into groups. With “fake news” and fake filters to be able to change what you look like online (see here if you are lost). This leads to me a question, as leaders and specifically Christian leaders, how do we disseminate the truth? As we continued to march into the future, will the idea and notion of leadership become more about who you are (being) as much as it is about what you do?
.” Dalrymple, William. “The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan Review – History on a Grand Scale.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, November 6, 2015. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/nov/06/silk-roads-peter-frankopan-review.
 Frankopan, Peter. The Silk Roads: a New History of the World. New York: Vintage Books, 2017, xviii.
 Mihaela Gligor. “PETER FRANKOPAN, THE SILK ROADS. A NEW HISTORY OF THE WORLD.” Journal of Ancient History and Archaeology 5, no. 3 (2018): Journal of Ancient History and Archaeology, 01 September 2018, Vol.5(3), 83.
 Barna Group. The Connected Generation Report. PDF, 2019, 108.