Synopses & Reviews
High adventure and grand history from a master of the craft in a beautifully illustrated volume.
With characteristic flair, Felipe Fernández-Armesto gives us an entertaining and insightful history of world exploration. Presenting the subject for the first time on a truly global scale, Fernández-Armesto tracks the pathfinders who, over the last five millennia, lay down the routes of contact that have drawn together the farthest reaches of the world. From the maritime expeditions connecting Queen Hatshepsut's Egypt to the exotic land of Punt in the second millennium BCE, through the merchants and missionaries of the ancient Silk Roads and the great Iberian explorers of the fifteenth century, to the nineteenth-century explorations of the polar regions, interior Africa, North America, and the South Pacific, Fernández-Armesto spins a grand narrative full of character and story. Deftly embedding these explorations in the cultures, politics, and technologies of their times, he creates a history with unusual depth and breadth. Here is an intellectual adventure as rewarding as it is thrilling. 16 pages of color; 48 maps; 44 illustrations.
"Readers of history will delight in Fernndez-Armesto's latest. The Tufts historian (Millennium) deftly manages the near-impossible task of a comprehensive account of world exploration from the dawn of humankind while maintaining an interesting tone throughout. The evocatively titled chapters ('Reaching,' 'Stirring,' 'Springing') follow a well-organized outline, and short sections keep the reader from feeling overwhelmed with information. Beginning with Homo erectus's migrations from East Africa to the rest of the continent and to Eurasia a million and a half years ago, the book examines how and why cultures spread throughout the world. Each section of the globe is examined, from the Tigris and Euphrates to the Pacific Islands, the Middle East and Africa. Along the way, technological and scientific leaps, such as sails, cartography and the cure for scurvy are explained. Fernndez-Armesto also looks at the important role economics and politics have played in world exploration, The author excels when he narrows the focus, such as when he places Columbus into historical context so that the magnitude of his journey and its difficulty are fully felt. This volume truly covers everything the title claims, resulting in a rich history of our world. 16 pages of color illus., 44 b&w illus., 48 maps." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In this insightful history of world exploration, Fernandez-Armesto tracks the pathfinders who, over the last five millennia, laid down the routes of contact that drew together the farthest reaches of the world. 16 pp. of color. 48 maps. 44 illustrations.
About the Author
Felipe Fernández-Armesto, a world-renowned scholar and author, has taught at Oxford University and the University of London, and is now professor of history at Tufts University. He and his family live in Boston.