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1 Beaverton World History- China

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

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1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance Cover

ISBN13: 9780061492174
ISBN10: 0061492175
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The New York Times bestselling author of 1421 offers another stunning reappraisal of history, presenting compelling new evidence that traces the roots of the European Renaissance to Chinese exploration in the fifteenth century

The brilliance of the Renaissance laid the foundation of the modern world. Textbooks tell us that it came about as a result of a rediscovery of the ideas and ideals of classical Greece and Rome. But now bestselling historian Gavin Menzies makes the startling argument that in the year 1434, China—then the world's most technologically advanced civilization—provided the spark that set the European Renaissance ablaze. From that date onward, Europeans embraced Chinese intellectual ideas, discoveries, and inventions, all of which form the basis of western civilization today.

Florence and Venice of the early fifteenth century were hubs of world trade, attracting traders from across the globe. Based on years of research, this marvelous history argues that a Chinese fleet—official ambassadors of the emperor—arrived in Tuscany in 1434, where they were received by Pope Eugenius IV in Florence. The delegation presented the influential pope with a wealth of Chinese learning from a diverse range of fields: art, geography (including world maps that were passed on to Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan), astronomy, mathematics, printing, architecture, steel manufacturing, military weaponry, and more. This vast treasure trove of knowledge spread across Europe, igniting the legendary inventiveness of the Renaissance, including the work of such geniuses as da Vinci, Copernicus, Galileo, and more.

In 1434, Gavin Menzies combines this long-overdue historical reexamination with the excitement of an investigative adventure. He brings the reader aboard the remarkable Chinese fleet as it sails from China to Cairo and Florence, and then back across the world. Erudite and brilliantly reasoned, 1434 will change the way we see ourselves, our history, and our world.

Synopsis:

The "New York Times"-bestselling author of "1421" offers a stunning reappraisal of history, presenting compelling new evidence about the European Renaissance, tracing its roots to the Chinese. 16-page color photo insert.

About the Author

The author of 1421: The Year China Discovered America, Gavin Menzies was born in England and lived in China for two years before the Second World War. He joined the Royal Navy in 1953 and served in submarines from 1959 to 1970. Since leaving the Royal Navy, he has returned to China and Asia many times, and in the course of his research, he has visited 120 countries, more than 900 museums and libraries, and every major seaport of the late Middle Ages. Menzies is married with two daughters and lives in North London.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

MomsTheWord, July 2, 2008 (view all comments by MomsTheWord)
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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(6 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
Kathleen Gillogly, June 20, 2008 (view all comments by Kathleen Gillogly)
I have not heard of a single legitimate, well-trained, Chinese literate scholar who has found anything worthwhile about Menzie's 'work.' He's made this all up out of whole cloth. It has no relationship to reality. Wouldn't you rather read a history that actually told you something about the world we live in?
As I write this, there's a picture of James Frey to the left. Fiction is great -- but do we agree that it should not be labeled fact, as in "this actually happened"?
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(4 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
arigpw, June 18, 2008 (view all comments by arigpw)
Menzies' claims are based on Chinese texts which relate to Fulin (the Eastern Roman empire), fake maps, unfounded correlations and great leaps of faith which only snake-oil salesmen would concede. There is not one scrap of evidence to suggest that the ships of Zheng He went anywhere near Italy at any time.

Again a sordid attempt to deceive the public for the private gain of Mr Menzies and his publishers

Geoff Wade
arigpw@nus.edu.sg
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(10 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061492174
Subtitle:
The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance
Author:
Menzies, Gavin
Author:
by Gavin Menzies
Author:
Peters, Elizabeth
Publisher:
William Morrow
Subject:
General
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Civilization
Subject:
Renaissance
Subject:
Europe - Italy
Subject:
Asia - China
Subject:
Discoveries in geography -- Chinese.
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Women Sleuths
Subject:
World History - Medieval and Renaissance
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20080603
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.21 in 23.04 oz

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Related Subjects


History and Social Science » Asia » China » Imperial to 1911
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Renaissance
History and Social Science » World History » China
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Italy
History and Social Science » World History » Medieval and Renaissance

1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance Used Hardcover
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Product details 384 pages William Morrow & Company - English 9780061492174 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The "New York Times"-bestselling author of "1421" offers a stunning reappraisal of history, presenting compelling new evidence about the European Renaissance, tracing its roots to the Chinese. 16-page color photo insert.
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