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While European intellectual, cultural, and commercial life stagnated during the early medieval period, Asia flourished as the wellspring of science, philosophy, and religion. Linked together by a web of religious, commercial, and intellectual connections, the different regions of Asia’s vast civilization, from Arabia to China, hummed with commerce, international diplomacy, and the brisk exchange of ideas. Stewart Gordon has fashioned a fascinating and unique look at Asia from A.D. 700 to 1500, a time when Asia was the world, by describing the personal journeys of Asia’s many travelers-the merchants who traded spices along the Silk Road, the apothecaries who exchanged medicine and knowledge from China to the Middle East, and the philosophers and holy men who crossed continents to explore and exchange ideas, books, science, and culture.
Posted December 10, 2012
AP World History Review, "When Asia Was the World" is a great historical non-fiction book that tells about the history of Asia's trade and people from the early 7th century all the way to the late 16th century.
In this book Stewart Gordon, the author, tells the history of Asia through the eyes of traders that lived in this time. He explains what the time period was like with the use of the merchant’s self-documentaries and their books. Gordon explains the changes that occurred within society such as the change of leading merchants, the laws and customs that existed on the trade routes, and social lives throughout Asia.
Stewart Gordon throughout this novel does a good job at getting the information he wants people to understand from the time period across. I found that the book was very insightful and helped me understand what was going on in Asia during this time period. This book taught me about the life of the merchants, customs that were practiced, and how Asia was truly linked together for so long.
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Posted December 4, 2013
AP World History Review, " When Asia Was the World" is book about traveling merchants, scholars, warriors and monks that create the " Riches of the East".
The author, Stewart Gordon, provides information on how merchants, scholars, warriors and monks help create Asia as the center of attention during the European Middle ages. He brings the world of exchanges and travel by telling us the stories of explorers and travelers. Gordon writes this book to show people the popular history from 618 CE to 1500 CE , he wants this book to reach out to people so they can learn about Asia's importance during the time. I found this book very interesting because it helps me understand what was happening in Asia during the time period. This book divides the time period in sections so, it can help you understand better. I would recommend to others because this book talks about the roles of the people and the influence of the roles in Asia.
In conclusion, the author wrote this book because he is a research scholar for South Asian studies. He has also traveled to Asia and lived the life in Asia. Some of the figures he talks about in the book is Ibn Sina, Ma Huan and Ibn Batutta. Ibn Sina is a philosopher and a physician. Ma Huan is a treasure and a low-level official. Lastly, Ibn Batutta is a famous traveler that travels across Asia.