“I’m a humble historian, I’m not a politician,” said Peter Frankopan, author of The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World. “I’m not claiming to offer answers. I’m just trying to say – looking back at the footsteps in the sand – how we’ve got to where we are now and also, how I think things are going to go.”
In his latest book, he charts how the shifting dynamics of the world today are shaping the way we’ll live tomorrow.
From Brexit and Trump to Syria and China, Frankopan described 2019 as a time of ‘great uncertainty' and 'profound change'. He talked of the disconnect felt within the United Kingdom, Europe and on a global scale, describing the disillusionment with democracy.
Despite that, he said he’s hopeful about the world. He believes there's an appetite to be connected and learn about other cultures.
“I feel like I’m introducing people to a cast of authors,” he said, touching on how he likes to explore history through the voices of those who experienced it. “I think what history does…is to provide context,” explaining how connecting the dots of what has happened in our past can help make sense of the current chaos.
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Photograph by Marsha Arnold