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MomsTheWord has commented on (1) product.

1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance by Gavin Menzies
1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance

MomsTheWord, July 2, 2008

Every once in a while, you read something that reminds you how much we take at face value (even the comments by the previous reviewers). Gavin Menzies has made me completely rethink a period of history that I have always found to be particularly fascinating. While I am not a historian, nor will I take the time to check his facts, I do know that I will never again look at the work of the Renaissance masters in quite the same way or visit a museum and not wonder if what I am being told is true.

Menzie's book is bursting with historical detail. This information will be of keen interest to those who want to further study his findings, but may make the book a very heavy read for those who have merely a general interest in the subject matter.

I enjoyed the book and found myself stopping to site passages to my husband as I read, or tell my son details (he has a fascination with all things related to China).

At times, the book felt as if written by two people: a fabulous storyteller with the ability to make history come alive, and a serious academic writing a research paper for fellow academics. As a reader with a general interest in the subject matter, I did find that somewhat off-putting at times. That said, Menzies appears to have accumulated mountains of material, and to be able to put into a readable size is a huge accomplishment.

What a timely book in this year when our interest in China is at such a peek.
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