1421 : THE YEAR CHINA DISCOVERED THE WORLD

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9780553815221: 1421 : THE YEAR CHINA DISCOVERED THE WORLD
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On March 8, 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China to "proceed all the way to the ends of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas." When the fleet returned home 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 the 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. And they colonized America before the Europeans, transplanting the principal economic crops that have since fed and clothed the world.

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About the Author:

Gavin Menzies is the bestselling author of 1421: The Year China Discovered America; 1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance; and The Lost Empire of Atlantis: History's Greatest Mystery Revealed. He served in the Royal Navy between 1953 and 1970. His knowledge of seafaring and navigation sparked his interest in the epic voyages of Chinese admiral Zheng He. Menzies lives in London.

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A former submarine commander in Britain's Royal Navy, Menzies must enjoy doing battle. 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. According to Menzies's brazen but dull account of the Middle Kingdom's exploits at sea, Magellan, Dias, da Gama, Cabral and Cook only "discovered" lands the Chinese had already visited, and they sailed with maps drawn from Chinese charts. Menzies alleges that the Chinese not only discovered America, but also established colonies here long before Columbus set out to sea. Because China burned the records of its historic expeditions led by Zheng He, the famed eunuch admiral and the focus of this account, Menzies is forced to defend his argument by compiling a tedious package of circumstantial evidence that ranges from reasonable to ridiculous. While the book does contain some compelling claims-for example, that the Chinese were able to calculate longitude long before Western explorers-drawn from Menzies's experiences at sea, his overall credibility is undermined by dubious research methods. In just one instance, when confounded by the derivation of cryptic words on a Venetian map, Menzies first consults an expert at crossword puzzles rather than an etymologist. Such an approach to scholarship, along with a promise of more proof to come in the paperback edition, casts a shadow of doubt over Menzies's discoveries. 32 pages of color illus., 27 maps and diagrams. Book-of-the-Month Club alternate.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780061564895: 1421: The Year China Discovered America

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ISBN 10:  0061564893 ISBN 13:  9780061564895
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks, 2008
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Book Description Transworld Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On 8 March 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China. The ships, some nearly five hundred feet long, were under the command of Emperor Zhu Di s loyal eunuch admirals. Their mission was to proceed all the way to the end of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas and unite the world in Confucian harmony. Their journey would last for over two years and take them around the globe but by the time they returned home, China was beginning its long, self-imposed isolation from the world it had so recently embraced. And so the great ships were left to rot and the records of their journey were destroyed. And with them, the knowledge that the Chinese had circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan, reached America seventy years before Columbus, and Australia three hundred and fifty years before Cook. The result of fifteen years research, 1421 is Gavin Menzies enthralling account of the voyage of the Chinese fleet, the remarkable discoveries he made and the persuasive evidence to support them: ancient maps, precise navigational knowledge, astronomy and the surviving accounts of Chinese explorers and the later European navigators as well as the traces the fleet left behind - from sunken junks to the votive offerings left by the Chinese sailors wherever they landed, giving thanks to Shao Lin, goddess of the sea. Already hailed as a classic, this is the story of an extraordinary journey of discovery that not only radically alters our understanding of world exploration but also rewrites history itself. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780553815221

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Book Description Transworld Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. On 8 March 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China. The ships, some nearly five hundred feet long, were under the command of Emperor Zhu Di s loyal eunuch admirals. Their mission was to proceed all the way to the end of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas and unite the world in Confucian harmony. Their journey would last for over two years and take them around the globe but by the time they returned home, China was beginning its long, self-imposed isolation from the world it had so recently embraced. And so the great ships were left to rot and the records of their journey were destroyed. And with them, the knowledge that the Chinese had circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan, reached America seventy years before Columbus, and Australia three hundred and fifty years before Cook. The result of fifteen years research, 1421 is Gavin Menzies enthralling account of the voyage of the Chinese fleet, the remarkable discoveries he made and the persuasive evidence to support them: ancient maps, precise navigational knowledge, astronomy and the surviving accounts of Chinese explorers and the later European navigators as well as the traces the fleet left behind - from sunken junks to the votive offerings left by the Chinese sailors wherever they landed, giving thanks to Shao Lin, goddess of the sea. Already hailed as a classic, this is the story of an extraordinary journey of discovery that not only radically alters our understanding of world exploration but also rewrites history itself. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780553815221

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Book Description Bantam. Condition: New. 2003. Later Printing. Paperback. In 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China under the command of Emperor Zhu Di's loyal eunuch admirals. But by the time they returned home, Zhu Di had lost control and China was turning inwards, leaving the records of their discoveries to be forgotten for centuries. Num Pages: 656 pages, illustrations, maps. BIC Classification: 1FPC; 3H; HBJF; HBLC; HBTM; RGR. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 128 x 199 x 43. Weight in Grams: 566. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9780553815221

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Book Description Bantam, 2003. Condition: New. 2003. Later Printing. Paperback. In 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China under the command of Emperor Zhu Di's loyal eunuch admirals. But by the time they returned home, Zhu Di had lost control and China was turning inwards, leaving the records of their discoveries to be forgotten for centuries. Num Pages: 656 pages, illustrations, maps. BIC Classification: 1FPC; 3H; HBJF; HBLC; HBTM; RGR. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 128 x 199 x 43. Weight in Grams: 566. . . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780553815221

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