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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

When did globalisation begin? Most observers have settled on 1492, the year Columbus discovered America. But as celebrated Yale professor Valerie Hansen shows, it was the year 1000, when for the first time new trade routes linked the entire globe, so an object could in theory circumnavigate the world. This was the 'big bang' of globalisation, which ushered in a new era of exploration and trade and which paved the way for Europeans to dominate after Columbus reached America.

Drawing on a wide range of new historical sources and cutting-edge archaeology, Hansen shows, for example, that the Maya began to trade with the native peoples of modern New Mexico from traces of theobromine - the chemical signature of chocolate - and that frozen textiles found in Greenland contain hairs from animals that could only have come from North America.

Introducing players from Europe, the Islamic world, Asia, the Indian Ocean maritime world, the Pacific and the Mayan world who were connecting the major landmasses for the first time, this compelling revisionist argument shows how these encounters set the stage for the globalisation that would dominate the world for centuries to come.

©2020 Valerie Hansen (P)2020 Penguin Audio

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  • Keith
  • 22-05-20

Exemplary

Powerful argument on how global trade was at the year 1000, particularly apt on China, South East Asia and East African interaction.

Viking connections to both North America and Eastern Europe are also excellent. Loved it. Great read of the subject too.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-04-21

Fantastic material but hard to engage with.

This is so interesting and full of incredible detail - weaving together so much from history, archaeology and legend. It is just so difficult to engage with aand grasp. I am not sure if it is the speed of the narration, the fairly flat tone or just that there is so much detail that more visual anchors and aids are needed. even listening only chapter by chapter I get overwhelmed.