This is the first book to look at the history of globalization through the lens of individuals who did something transformative, as opposed to describing globalization through trends, policies, or particular industries. From Silk to Silicon tells the story of who these people were, what they did, how they did it, and how their achievements continue to shape our world today. They include:
• Genghis Khan, who united East and West by conquest and by opening new trade routes built on groundbreaking transportation, communications, and management innovations.
• Mayer Amschel Rothschild, who arose from an oppressive Jewish ghetto to establish the most powerful bank the world has seen and who ushered in an era of global finance.
• Cyrus Field, who became the father of global communications by leading the effort to build the transatlantic telegraph, the forerunner to global radio, television, and the worldwide Internet.
• Margaret Thatcher, whose controversial policies opened the gusher of substantially free markets that linked economies across borders.
• Andy Grove, a Hungarian refugee from the Nazis who built the company—Intel—that figured out how to manufacture complex computer chips on a mass, commercial scale and laid the foundation for Silicon Valley’s computer revolution.
From Silk to Silicon is an essential book to understanding the past—and the future—of the most powerful global forces of our times.