Trade Routes Series
These were published by McGraw-Hill and edited by Edward Sammis. According to the publisher, "This challenging series [taps] a long-neglected area of history and economics--adventures with a purpose. Here are exciting heroes and equally exciting stakes....Old prints, paintings, and woodcuts--as well as drawings--make [these] trading stories visual [discoveries].
East to Cathay, The Silk Road by Robert Collins
"In the twenty-seventh century B.C., a Chinese princess watched a tiny silk worm spin glittering threads to make its cocoon. Fascinated, the princess began to cultivate and nurse these tiny spinners and weave their fine threads into cloth. Here the story of silk begins. The chinese carefully guarded the secret of making silk. So, the search for this shining and clinging fabric lured men east to Cathay.
"In the days of the Roman empire, ladies wanted silk garments to make them more alluring, and men desired it as a status symbol. During the Middle Ages, monks traveled the great Silk Road to spread Christianity. Along this same route, plagued by desert sandstorms, mountain blizzards, bandits and goblins, the great conquerors, Jenghiz (Genghis) Khan and Tamerlane fashioned their empires. The road was also a magnet for the great merchant travelers, shuch as the Polos, who returned to Europe with silk and countless tales of adventure.
"This fast-paced story is handsomely designed and illustrated with old prints and drawings as well as photographs of scrolls, reliefs, and tapestries."
Frontiers of Fortune, The Fur Trade by Donald Honig
The Money Trees, The Spice Trade by George Masselman 
"Spice trees were the riches of the Indies--for they produced the wealth which lured men east. Daring Portugese sailors opened the sea route to the Indies, but it was the determined Dutch merchants who made the voyage to the Spice Islands profitable.
"In the days when food was bland and dull, pepper, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace became household status symbols. Bringing shiploads of spices back to Europe established the Netherlands as a great merchant naiton and enabled this tiny country to break away from Spanish rule and establish a republic.
"Following the career of Jan Coen, young readers will encounter angry local princes, batles with enemy fleets, and Coen's determined fight with tradition-bound masters to secure an island trading empire."
Over Mountains, Prairies, and Seas, The Oil Trade by Leonard Fanning
Rival Cities: Venice and Genoa by M. Gregg Robinson
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