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1 Hawthorne World History- China

1421: The Year China Discovered America

by

1421: The Year China Discovered America Cover

ISBN13: 9780060540944
ISBN10: 006054094x
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

On March 8, 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China. Its mission was "to proceed all the way to the ends of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas" and unite the whole world in Confucian harmony.

When it returned in October 1423, the emperor had fallen, leaving China in political and economic chaos. The great ships were left to rot at their moorings and the records of their journeys were destroyed. Lost in China's long, self-imposed isolation that followed was the knowledge that Chinese ships had reached America seventy years before Columbus and had circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan. Also concealed was how the Chinese colonized America before the Europeans and transplanted in America and other countries the principal economic crops that have fed and clothed the world.

Unveiling incontrovertible evidence of these astonishing voyages, 1421 rewrites our understanding of history. Our knowledge of world exploration as it has been commonly accepted for centuries must now be reconceived due to this landmark work of historical investigation.

Review:

"No matter what you think of Menzies's theories, his enthusiasm is infectious." Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"Captivating...a historical detective story...that adds to our knowledge of the world, past and present." Daily News

Review:

"What you've done, brilliantly, is to raise many questions that people are debating." Diane Rehm, The Diane Rehm Show

Review:

"...the particular genius of Menzies has been to link most convincingly many bits and pieces of information that have been known by different experts (including the great sinologist Joseph Needham) for a long time but which no one before him has had the wit to put together." Geoffrey Moorhouse, The Guardian

Review:

"Menzies' enthusiasm is infectious and his energy boundless. He has raised important questions and marshaled some fascinating information." Toronto Globe and Mail

Review:

"[M]akes history sound like pure fun...a seductive read." New York Times Magazine

Review:

"The amateur historian's lightly footnoted, heavily speculative re-creation of little-known voyages made by Chinese ships in the early 1400s goes far beyond what most experts in and outside of China are willing to assert and will surely set tongues wagging." Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 493-536) and index.

Synopsis:

Based on 15 years of in-depth research, "1421" traces the voyages of an extraordinary fleet of Chinese ships, whose crews actually charted America 70 years before Columbus. Four 8-page color inserts. 37 maps & diagrams.

About the Author

Gavin Menzies was born in 1937 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. As a junior officer he sailed the world in the wakes of Columbus, Dias, Cabral and Vasco da Gama. While in command of HMS Rorqual (1968–1970), he sailed the routes pioneered by Magellan and Captain Cook. Since leaving the Royal Navy, he has returned to China and the Far East many times, and in the course of researching 1421 he has visited 120 countries, more than 900 museums and libraries, and every major sea port of the late Middle Ages. Menzies is married, has two daughters and lives in North London.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Terry Simpson, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Terry Simpson)
There is a great reason this is a NY Times best selling book. Not only does it introduce us to China as it was in 1421 - but gives us a long view of how the country views itself now, and how it continues to move inward after exploration.
A great and easy read - and no doubt turns historians heads
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
aramaris, April 10, 2008 (view all comments by aramaris)
I can't believe some saying this book is a fraud when it is extremely well documented. Also, anyone with an average education can read this book, including High School students. I found it very easy to read. I have continuously checked many references in the light of other sources and by googling others. Everything checks out. All this is found in other books by famous historians. A master storyteller with lots of knowledge. An exciting book and a must-read for any history buff.
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(13 of 18 readers found this comment helpful)
nigelbruce, December 15, 2006 (view all comments by nigelbruce)
Superfically the book looks as if it might be a serious history: it has the form, a table of contents, quite a few endnotes, etc, however, if you check the sources against the text you will find they rarely support what he has written. They are just window dressing. The book is a fraud.

For a good inventory of the many problems with this book, which should correctly be listed as fiction, see www.1421exposed.com.

If you are interested in learnign the true history of these seven voyages in early 15th century China, start with Ma Huan, Ying-Yai Sheng-Lan, The Overall Survey of the Ocean Shores, Beijing, 1433, translated from the Chinese Text, Edited by Feng Ch'eng-Chun, with introduction, notes and appendices by J.V.G. Mills (Cambridge Univ. Press). Ma Huan was on board for three of the voyages, including the 6th, and his commentaries are a first person account, primary evidence. He writes of nothing beyond the well documented theatre of operations. The volume also contains Mills' lengthy discussion of the Mao K'un, the fleet's sailing instructions. 715 places are identified and located, none beyond the well documented theatre of operations.

Mr. Menzies is an inventive story teller and his tale is just a fantasy, with phoney 'evidence' meant to deceive the uninformed reader.

If you are fond of the historical fiction genre pass on Menzies and get something by Gore Vidal, such as Burr, or Baudolino by Umberto Eco.
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(20 of 39 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060540944
Subtitle:
The Year China Discovered America
Author:
Menzies, Gavin
Author:
by Gavin Menzies
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Location:
New York, NY
Subject:
Military - Naval
Subject:
History
Subject:
American
Subject:
China
Subject:
Asia - China
Subject:
Voyages around the world
Subject:
Discoveries in geography
Subject:
World - General
Subject:
Expeditions & Discoveries
Subject:
World
Subject:
Americas (North Central South West Indies)
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st Perennial ed.
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
2003-44
Publication Date:
January 2004
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
656
Dimensions:
9.10x5.90x1.30 in. 1.64 lbs.

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Related Subjects


History and Social Science » American Studies » Featured Titles
History and Social Science » Asia » China » Imperial to 1911
History and Social Science » World History » Ancient History
History and Social Science » World History » China
History and Social Science » World History » General
Metaphysics » Speculative History

1421: The Year China Discovered America Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 656 pages Perennial - English 9780060540944 Reviews:
"Review" by , "No matter what you think of Menzies's theories, his enthusiasm is infectious."
"Review" by , "Captivating...a historical detective story...that adds to our knowledge of the world, past and present."
"Review" by , "What you've done, brilliantly, is to raise many questions that people are debating."
"Review" by , "...the particular genius of Menzies has been to link most convincingly many bits and pieces of information that have been known by different experts (including the great sinologist Joseph Needham) for a long time but which no one before him has had the wit to put together."
"Review" by , "Menzies' enthusiasm is infectious and his energy boundless. He has raised important questions and marshaled some fascinating information."
"Review" by , "[M]akes history sound like pure fun...a seductive read."
"Review" by , "The amateur historian's lightly footnoted, heavily speculative re-creation of little-known voyages made by Chinese ships in the early 1400s goes far beyond what most experts in and outside of China are willing to assert and will surely set tongues wagging."
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. 493-536) and index.
"Synopsis" by , Based on 15 years of in-depth research, "1421" traces the voyages of an extraordinary fleet of Chinese ships, whose crews actually charted America 70 years before Columbus. Four 8-page color inserts. 37 maps & diagrams.

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