The Splendid View On History

Categories: Natural Disasters

The Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World (ASE) is a book about the history of trade throughout various places such as Greece, China, Italy, etc. (ASE) also shows how trade’s great and contentious past and provides good information on social, political, cultural, and economic history, as well as a progress of trade’s future. It also shows various topics, such as how animals spread around different countries, how Muslims and Chinese dominated Indian trade in the 13th century, etc.

The book mainly just talks about trade and how it came about in different countries and how it changed our world and the history of our world. This book also has great detail on the way trade happened and how different wars happened because of trade. This is important because it shows the good details of trade around the world. Bernstein tells the story of the trade from the dawn of civilization to the anti-globalization riots of 1999 in Seattle. Trade is a historical constant driving the wealth and military expansion of empires.


William J. Bernstein is a retired neurologist situated in Oregon. Famous for his site on asset allocation and portfolio theory Efficient Frontier, Dr. Bernstein is a co-chief of the money administration company Efficient Frontier Advisors. He is the author of a few best-selling books on finance and history and is frequently cited in the national financial media. He is created various books such as the Intelligent Asset Allocator, The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio, and many other books.

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Bernstein is a supporter of the index allocation school of thought, believing that all equity selection strategies should be focused on allocating between asset classes. He is also a supporter of the modern portfolio theory. (Fork)

However, (ASE) shows how people transported only the most precious items and trading everyday goods was not as often as it is today first because the costs for transport were too high, and second because transporting was a dangerous activity. (Bare) The author indicates that this is understandable for people to trade their most precious goods because they need to provide for their families and get food just as everyone does in everyday life. Water trade was also highly excessive because water is a highly needed source for health, bathing, and many other things. Ships were not well made, there were many pirates, and natural disasters caused lots of ships to sink in their process of trade. But products were still advanced And production still went fairly well. The author also indicates that back in this time it was a lot harder to do productive trade than it is today. That is because they did not have very good technology as people do in the twenty-first century and their ships were not as well built because humans’ knowledge gradually progressed into making better technology and sources for trade, which is always going to happen in human history. (Bare)

However, (Bernstein41) because a lot more interesting when William J. Bernstein explains the Peloponnesian war, which the author finds interesting, Especially how it was an Ancient Greek war going on around 400 bc. It also drove Athens to seek an empire that sprang directly from the commerce in that most basic material grain, and in the peculiar geography of the Hellenic cradle of Western civilization which the author finds amazing. (ASE) also shows that it is no accident that modern-day interest in this ancient conflict intensifies as history’s greatest superpower becomes even more mired in the fields of the Middle East. It is not hard to associate today’s principal policy advocates with the main Athenian actors (Bernstein 44). Camels, ships of the desert, and trade along the Arab peninsula south to Yemen for incense, east to the Persian Gulf for access to Asia through the Indian Ocean (Bare). Venice rises to power in the Mediterranean trade with the Muslim world. Asian spices and silk come to Europe only through trade with Muslims. Islam is governed through the unstable Mamluk system based on slave soldiers. Venice trades in slaves from the Black Sea coast to the Muslims. Crusades are tangled in efforts by the Venetians to protect this trade route from European rivals and to bypass Muslim middlemen to access Asian goods. (Bare) the Author finds this interesting that (ASE) mentions that Muslims are a lot different from other cultures. The Muslims had to do many things to get trade to their land.

The nine centuries between the victory of the prophet and the rounding of the cape of the planet- this in a period when the Middle Kingdom hosted large Arab and Persian merchant colonies (Bernstein 117-118). This victory is an interesting outcome in the Muslim culture and the future for their culture in the future.

In conclusion, the first seven chapters in this book have talked about many things such as trade, different animals and how they came to different countries, and how many wars started because of the important process of trade. The book still has more chapters to go and the author is hoping there are more exciting things to come.

Works cited

  1. Bernstein, William J. A Splendid Exchange: how trade shaped the world. 2008.
  2. Christopher Bare Article title: A Splendid Exchange – How Trade Shaped the World Website title: URL:
  3. URL:

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The Splendid View On History. (2022, May 29). Retrieved from

The Splendid View On History
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