Voyages That Changed the World Hardcover – 7 Jun 2007
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From the Inside Flap
Dramatically told, often in the words of the voyagers themselves, and beautifully illustrated with maps, portraits and historic illustrations, these are the gripping stories of how a handful of sailors, adventurers, pirates and mavericks shaped the course of world history. From ancient Phoenician seafarers to the explorers of the oceans' depths, Voyages that Changed the World includes the journeys of Bartholomew Dias and Vasco da Gama, the discoveries of America, the first circumnavigation of the globe, Francis Drake's adventures in the Golden Hind, the story of the real Robinson Crusoe, the voyage of the Mayflower, Captain Cooks' charting of the Pacific, Charles Darwin's epiphany aboard the Beagle, Isambard Kingdom Brunel's race to cross the Atlantic, and Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton journeying to the ends of the Earth.
From the Back Cover
“He was wrong about his armour… the flashing steel plates making him an easy target. The man who had discovered the gateway to the Pacific Ocean had been killed in a minor island skirmish, and would never complete the circumnavigation of the globe.” For Ferdinand Magellan, like Captain Cook and Scott of the Antarctic, a great voyage of discovery would bring not glory, but brutal death on land far from home. For others, like the Pilgrim Fathers, it would bring salvation; for Drake and the conquistadors, gold and riches. For Brunel and Amundsen, there would be victories in history's great races, and for Vasco da Gama and Columbus, the unveiling of new worlds. But for all of the seafarers and explorers told of in this book - from the ancient Phoenicians to the submariners of the Mariana Trench - their exploits would bring immortality for the parts they played in the voyages that changed the world. “At ten o'clock Columbus thought he could see a light on the horizon. It seemed to be a fire and it flickered like a candle… At about two hours after midnight there was no doubt about the fires… This time it was not a false alarm. On the Friday morning the little convoy found that it was approaching an island. The sailed closer. The island was inhabited…”See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
All the great explorers are in the book-Erik the Red,Henry the Navigator,Columbus,Magellan,Drake,Tasman, Cook and others but my favourites are the epic voyages of the Ming dynasty which ended disasterously by China sinking its fleets and becoming isolationist.
The book is very well illustrated with a good index but no bibliography.
Abook to be highly recommended.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book is filled with inconsistencies from chapter to chapter. The author goes to great lengths to credit many different voyagers with the "discovery" of the Americas, but lapses into long-since debunked theories that Columbus was the first European to discover the new world.
The author has chapters on a Welsh colony in Alabama, Norse settlements in Canada, and an Irish monk reaching the Bahamas, but later in the book states that the naming of the American continent (s) after Vespucci was "a great injustice to men like Columbus and Cabot who were the true discoverers of the new land." (68)
I have no idea what the thesis of this book is. The author paints interesting stories but always hedges his bets when making claims, which I suppose is understandable considering he provides very few sources and no bibliography.
Pass on this book and get one from a scholarly press.