An arresting and highly engaging new look at how globalization has changed world history and how it continues to shape our lives
Globalization has proved to be the most powerful and disruptive economic force of the last century, but most books on the subject have examined it through impersonal trends and policies. In From Silk to Silicon, Jeffrey Garten provides a brilliant corrective an eye-opening and entertaining narrative of how our ever-smaller, interconnected world evolved, through the stories of ten extraordinary people who unleashed the forces of globalization over the past one thousand years. Garten gives a vivid picture of their lives and times who they were, what they did, how they did it, and how their achievements continue to affect our world today.
Among those you will meet:
Genghis Khan, who united East and West by brutal conquest and by opening new trade routes built on groundbreaking transportation, communication, and management innovations.
Mayer Amschel Rothschild, who rose from an oppressive Jewish ghetto to establish the most powerful global bank the world has ever seen and who ushered in an era of international finance.
Cyrus Field, who became the father of global communications by building the transatlantic telegraph the forerunner of international telephonic, radio, and television services, not to mention the Internet.
Margaret Thatcher, who turned back the tides of socialism and opened new avenues for free markets to link economies across borders.
Andy Grove, a Hungarian who survived the Nazi occupation and escaped Soviet oppression, whose innovations in managing high-technology industries resulted in the mass production of the microscopic computer chips that are fueling today s communications revolution.
Through these riveting stories of people overcoming all manner of hardships, navigating the swirling currents of their times, and ultimately creating spectacular change in the course of human history, Garten probes critical questions, including: What do these people have in common? What legacy did each leave? What do their stories tell us about globalization today? What do they imply for the future?
With the Internet tying the world together in ways that would have been unfathomable just a few years ago, with the economic ups and downs of China and other emerging nations whipsawing international markets, and with terrorism causing the largest flows of refugees since the end of World War II, a fresh way of thinking about globalization could not be more urgent. That is exactly what From Silk to Silicon provides.
Praise for From Silk to Silicon
This is a tale of globalization and leadership that is both sweeping and personal. By focusing on ten transformational people, it shows how individuals can affect the flow of history. It s a guide to the future as well as to the past. Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin
From Silk to Silicon creatively combines the impersonal forces of globalization with the very personal faces of biography in an engaging and thought-provoking story. Ranging over eight centuries of empires, exploration, and enterprise, Garten s colorful histories portray how willpower and persistence can propel societies to new achievements and he says the best is yet to come Robert B. Zoellick, former president of the World Bank
Impressive, fascinating, and very creative. Jeffrey Garten draws on decades of experience in the modern world economy to tell the story of globalization and, in so doing, not only brings the creation of our present world into focus but also widens our understanding of how the world may well evolve in the future. Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Prize
Jeffrey Garten has brilliantly updated Thomas Carlyle s Great Man theory of history in his gallery of transformative figures, notably including a woman, who have spurred globalization. A tour de force imaginative, informative, and just p