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A Voyage Long and Strange

The fascinating story of the early exploration of America
A Voyage Long and Strange
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Long before the Pilgrims, other Europeans pioneered North America, seeking land, converts and cities of gold. By exploring Americas lost, or often repressed, heritage, award-winning writer Tony Horwitz unmasks the country's founding myths. A Voyage Long and Strange opens with the Vikings in AD 1000, but focuses on the neglected period in early American history between Columbus's voyage of 1492 and the Pilgrims' arrival in 1620. Horwitz recaptures the adventures of non-English explorers and the drama of the first contact with native peoples during this period. He also sets out on his own journey of rediscovery, travelling in the explorer's wake to reveal the enduring influence that early Europeans had on America. Why, Horwitz asks, do we remember history the way we do? During his long and strange journey, from Indian sweat lodges to Columbus's crypt, he exposes the revealing gap between what we enshrine and what we forget about our past. A Voyage Long and Strange is a gripping historical adventure that illuminates not only America's early European history, but also the memory and myths that give the past power in the present day.
Tony Horwitz, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting for the Wall Street Journal, is the author of CONFEDERATES IN THE ATTIC, BAGHDAD WITHOUT A MAP, ONE FOR THE ROAD and INTO THE BLUE, a New York Times bestseller. He lives in Marthas Vineyard with his wife, Geraldine Brooks, and their son Nathaniel.
'Enlightening and entertaining ... perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of this exemplary popular history is the way it shows that wisdom is all around us, if only we'd take the trouble to learn' -- Guardian 'Enthralling' -- Scotland on Sunday 'A Voyage Long and Strange" is a history-fueled, self-imposed mission of rediscovery, atravelogue that sets out to explore the surprisingly long list of explorers who discoveredAmerica, and what discovered means anyway ... surprisingly fun and funny' -- Publisher's Weekly 'Irreverent, effervescent reexamination of early exploration in the Americas by peripatetic, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Horwitz ... Accessible to all ages, hands-on and immensely readable, this book invites readers to search out America's story for themselves' -- Kirkus 'This has been one of my best non-fiction reads for a while: really thought provoking' -- Historical Novels Review 'Well researched, perceptive ... and sprinkled with acerbic humour' -- Traveller 'Horwitz ... is meticulous in his history but genial and easy to read' -- The American
Irreverent, effervescent reexamination of early exploration in the Americas by peripatetic, Pulitzer Prize - winning journalist Horwitz (The Devil May Care: 50 Intrepid Americans and Their Quest for the Unknown, 2003, etc.).What do Americans really know about the discovery of their continent? Visiting the sadly puny Plymouth Rock prompted this energetic, likable author to delve into the historic record and sniff out the real story behind America's creation myth, from one section of the country to the other. The Vikings arrived first around 1000 CE, when Leif Eiriksson settled for a spell in Newfoundland, enjoying the grapes and mild weather before being run off by the native Skraelings. Horwitz sought out the probable descendants of these natives, the Micmac, who invited him to a cleansing ceremony in their sweat lodge. Next, the author studied the mixed-up voyages of Columbus, whose ignorance of the globe led him to believe that the eastern Bahamas, where he first landed, was the Orient. While the Spanish were claiming the Caribbean, Mexico and Peru, Ponce de Le-n, a veteran of Columbus's second voyage, struck Daytona Beach in 1513 and named the land La Florida. Alvar Nu-ez Cabeza de Vaca made inroads through Florida and Texas between 1528 and 1536, while ruthless Hernando de Soto cut throughout the South a pitiless swath of destruction and slaughter of natives. These voyages came long before Sir Walter Raleigh sent English colonists to settle on Roanoke Island, Va., in 1585. By 1540, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado penetrated the Southwest from Mexico in search of fabled cities, and in Florida, a little-known Huguenot settlement established in 1564 at La Caroline was wiped out by Spanish invaders. The author revisited all of these sites to speak to the locals, who are often as colorful as the forgotten history he was tracking.Accessible to all ages, hands-on and immensely readable, this book invites readers to search out America's story for themselves. (Kirkus Reviews)
Tony Horwitz
Publication Date
John Murray Publishers Ltd
Rediscovering the New World
Place of Publication
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Illustrations, maps
Hodder & Stoughton General Division

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