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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2008
Felipe's Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration is a tremendous piece of writing, covering a vast topic in an eminently readable style. Whilst not claiming to be a sacrosanct text, Felipe presents some of the most commonly accepted explanations about aspects of this huge topic in a very pragmatic and reasonable way. Amongst the many topics covered are the following:

* A brief history of early human development and the dispersion of people around the globe
* How the natural environment around the Indian Ocean enabled a flourishing, ocean going trade system to develop many, many centuries ago
* Insights into how trade, romanticism and empire building inspired various European countries to start explorations around the globe
* How a desire to reach the Indo-Chinese trade routes led to the `discovery' of America: which was for a long time only seen as a barrier to the original goal
* A look at what is now left for the pathfinders of today and tomorrow

I started reading this book knowing that I knew very little of the history about how humanity had developed in different parts of the world, I have also found that my knowledge of the worlds geography was also limited and, as such, spent a lot of time referencing a small globe whilst reading. I would recommend this book for anyone with an interest in history or humanity or, as myself, the origins of world trade and commerce.
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on 3 September 2014
I'm taking a star away from my first review that I did when I hadn't finished reading it. I agree with another review that there aren't enough maps in the book and those that are in the book are not really clarifying the subject. I kept an atlas beside me to get a better picture of what the author was trying to say.

Further along in the book, the atlas wasn't the only thing I had beside me. My mother tongue is not English (it's Dutch), but I've been reading English books almost exclusively for over 10 years. I can't remember the last time I had to use a dictionary. While I was reading this book, I had to use it several times per page and even then, some sentences were just too poetic to allow for a smooth reading and they rarely added meaning to the overall picture. I suspect that this book doesn't read smoothely even for those who are natively speaking English.

No complaints about the delivery or state of the second-hand book, though.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 29 September 2007
Fernandez Armesto has breathtaking ambition and scope. His history combines a fine sense for what makes a great yarn with sure-footed scholarship. He tells it with a flourish, and what an epic collection of tales he has to tell. This is what history should be, great entertainment, a welter of fasincating detail, and a grand perspective.
-Mick.
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on 13 April 2015
A good read. Well researched and entertainingly written.
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on 17 January 2015
Prompt delivery and I love it.
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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2006
Finally we have received a book about exploration which on the contrary to Allen's book `Faber book of Exploration' gives wide and not only English perspective on the subject. And this is the greatest value of this volume in addition to truly spectacular review of human endurance in exploration. For Fernandez-Armesto, on the contrary to Allen, the world exploration is a continuous process, which is not only related to mare conquering lands and seas but mainly to human progress from the dark past to present time. Remarkable work showing from the first chapter to the last one how we came to global vision and one would say destruction by globalization. ( Chapter 9).
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2007
One cannot praise enough this book for its clarity and profoundity, when the author unravels the paths pursued by humanity in exploring the world and other cultures.Armesto's fine intuitions and great storitelling make this book a true masterpiece.
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