The Centuries-Old Silver Jug That Conjures the Mysteries of the Silk Road

Stretching From Rome and Africa to Asia, the Ancient Trade Route Lured Invaders, Migrants, and Merchants—and Left Artifacts Rich With Meaning

As China has promoted its Belt and Road Initiative—an ambitious plan to open new markets for China by building logistics and trade infrastructure from Asia to Europe and Africa—the Chinese government has drawn parallels with the fabled Silk Road, which operated from Africa to Europe and Asia from roughly 200 B.C. to A.D. 1400.

But, as a matter of history, the “Silk Road” was nothing like the Belt and Road Initiative. In fact, in its time, there was no “Silk Road” at all. The Silk Road is actually a modern …

More In: economy

Are Call Centers Rebranding the Philippines?

As the Global Economy's Biggest Back Office, the Nation Seeks to Depict Its Workers as Educated, Empathetic, and English Fluent

What changes in a country—and what doesn’t change—when it devotes itself to servicing the businesses of other countries?

Not long ago, I found myself looking for answers to that question in …

If You Can’t Beat the Bay Area, Join It

Solving Northern California's Toughest Problems Requires a New Megaregion, from San Francisco and Tahoe to the San Joaquin and Salinas Valleys

Welcome to the Bay Area, Merced!

Further north, welcome as well to Modesto, Sacramento, Placerville, and Yuba City. And, to the south, you’re invited, too, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, and …

Can Iran’s Islamic Republic No Longer Depend on Its Diehard Backers?

Recent Protests in Rural Small Towns Suggest the Regime's Support May Be Crumbling

In the early weeks of 2018, protests swept through the small towns of Iran, mobilizing angry voices among the disgruntled lower rung of society. Demonstrators marched in the streets and …

How Robot Laborers Could Restock Italy and Japan’s Dwindling Workforce

The Sci-Fi Scenario May Sound Ominous, but Droids Could Help Countries with Low Birth Rates

Ask experts about the future of Italy and Japan, and you won’t hear many hopeful opinions. One is destined to fall out of the Euro. The other is condemned to …

Eisenhower’s Tax Policies Invested in the Future, Not the Few

His Administration's Push For High Taxes and High Public Investment Helped Build the Mid-Century Middle Class

“It’s a tax bill for the middle class. It’s a tax bill for jobs. It’s going to bring a lot of companies in. It’s a tax bill for business, which …