The riveting story of Ferdinand Magellan's historic 60,000-mile ocean voyage
"Prodigious research, sure-footed prose and vivid descriptions make for a thoroughly satisfying account... it is all here in the wondrous detail, a first-rate historical page turner."-- New York Times Book Review
Ferdinand Magellan's daring circumnavigation of the globe in the sixteenth century was a three-year odyssey filled with sex, violence, and amazing adventure. Now in Over the Edge of the World, prize-winning biographer and journalist Laurence Bergreen entwines a variety of candid, firsthand accounts, bringing to life this groundbreaking and majestic tale of discovery that changed both the way explorers would henceforth navigate the oceans and history itself.
The companion volume to Ken Burns's PBS documentary film, with more than 150 illustrations, most in full color.
In the spring of 1804, at the behest of President oThomas Jefferson, a party of explorers called the Corps of oDiscovery crossed the Mississippi River and started up the Missouri, heading west into the newly acquired Louisiana Territory.
The expedition, led by two remarkable and utterly different commanders--the brilliant but troubled Meriwether Lewis and his trustworthy, gregarious friend William Clark--was to be the United States' first exploration into unknown spaces. The unlikely crew came from every corner of the young nation: soldiers from New Hampshire and Pennsylvania and Kentucky, French Canadian boatmen, several sons of white fathers and Indian mothers, a slave named York, and eventually a Shoshone Indian woman, Sacagawea, who brought along her infant son.
Together they would cross the continent, searching for the fabled Northwest Passage that had been the great dream of explorers since the time of Columbus. Along the way they would face incredible hardship, disappointment, and danger; record in their journals hundreds of animals and plants previously unknown to science; encounter a dizzying diversity of Indian cultures; and, most of all, share in one of America's most enduring adventures. Their story may have passed into national mythology, but never before has their experience been rendered as vividly, in words and pictures, as in this marvelous homage by Dayton Duncan.
Plentiful excerpts from the journals kept by the two captains and four enlisted men convey the raw emotions, turbulent spirits, and constant surprises of the explorers, who each day confronted the unknown with fresh eyes. An elegant preface by Ken Burns, as well as contributions from Stephen E. Ambrose, William Least Heat-Moon, and Erica Funkhouser, enlarge upon important threads in Duncan's narrative, demonstrating the continued potency of events that took place almost two centuries ago. And a wealth of paintings, photographs, journal sketches, maps, and film images from the PBS documentary lends this historic, nation-redefining milestone a vibrancy and immediacy to which no American will be immune.
Few explorers have had the experience of uncovering a civilization almost entirely unknown to the world. But Stephen's two expeditions to Mexico and Central America in 1839 and 1841 yielded the first solid information on the culture of the Maya Indians. In this work, and in his other masterpiece Incidents of Travel in Yucatan, he tells the story of his travels to some 50 ruined Mayan cities.
In this book, he describes the excitement of exploring the magnificent ruined cities of Copan and Palenque, and his briefer excursions to Quirigua, Patinamit, Utatlan, Gueguetenango, Ocosingo, and Uxmal. For all these cities, his details are so accurate that more recent explorers used the book as a Baedeker to locate ruins forgotten by even the Indians.
In addition to being a great book on archaeological discovery, Stephen's work is also a great travel book. Telling of journeying by mule back on narrow paths over unimaginable deep ravines, through sloughs of mud and jungles of heavy vegetation, describing dangers of robbery, revolution, fever, mosquitoes and more exotic insects, Stephen's narrative remains penetrating and alive. His account of his attempt to buy Copan for $50 is told with the adroitness of a Mark Twain, and his descriptions of Indian life -- primitive villages a few miles from the ruins, burials, treatment of the sick, customs, amusements, etc. -- never lose their interest.
Frederick Catherwood's illustrations virtually double the appeal of the book. Highly exact, remarkably realistic drawings show overall views, ground plans of the cities, elevations of palaces and temples, free-standing sculpture, carved hieroglyphics, stucco bas-reliefs, small clay figures, and interior details.
Four centuries ago, Henry Hudson discovered the majestic river that now bears his name. Douglas Hunter's Half Moon is the first book-length history of the 1609 adventure that would ultimately reshape the New World and lead to the birth of a global capital--New York City. This swiftly moving tale re-creates the bubbling mixture of espionage, economics, and politics that drove men to the edges of the known world--and beyond.
In a feat of forensic cartography, Hunter offers a fresh perspective on the daring Hudson's motivation and objectives--and even on where he went. Half Moon is a rich narrative of adventure, filled with international intrigue, business drama, and the thrill of discovery.
From Michael Korda, author of the New York Times bestselling Eisenhower biography Ike and the captivating Battle of Britain book With Wings Like Eagles, comes the critically-acclaimed definitive biography of T. E. Lawrence--the legendary British soldier, strategist, scholar, and adventurer whose exploits as "Lawrence of Arabia" created a legacy of mythic proportions in his own lifetime. Many know T.E. Lawrence from David Lean's Oscar-winning 1962 biopic--based, itself, upon Lawrence's autobiographical Seven Pillars of Wisdom--but in the tradition of modern biographers like John Meacham, David McCullough, and Barbara Leaming, Michael Korda's penetrating new examination reveals new depth and character in the twentieth century's quintessential English hero.
The untold story of the secret alliance behind the "discovery" of America- Reveals how a utopian dream of brotherhood among Christians, Muslims, and Jews fueled a murderous power struggle involving secret societies, popes, and kings - Explains why King Ferdinand of Spain supported Columbus's voyages openly, but, secretly, sought to undermine their purpose - Shows how Columbus knew, sailing west, he would find the "New World," not Asia Was Columbus a Templar? According to the historic documents and maps revealed by Ruggero Marino, Columbus shared their dream of Christians, Muslims, and Jews living in peace in a New Jerusalem, and his voyage across the Atlantic was both to find a new passage to Asia and to find the place where the New Jerusalem could be built. Marino draws parallels between Marco Polo's journey east over the Silk Route and Columbus's sea voyages and reveals that Columbus studied ancient texts and maps from the Vatican Library, access to which was granted by Pope Innocent VIII--who Marino shows to be Columbus's true father. Innocent VIII (whose own father was Jewish and grandmother was Muslim) was the perfect individual to further the Templars' plan to create a universal religion combining the spiritual wisdom of the three faiths. Marino shows that Innocent's "disappearance" and the story that Columbus merely stumbled onto the New World were part of a calculated political and theological cover-up. While King Ferdinand (the model for Machiavelli's The Prince) and Queen Isabella of Spain are heralded with funding Columbus's "discovery" of America, it was Innocent VIII who was the main sponsor and master-mind of the expedition. To obscure the purpose of the voyages, and give Spain the credit for the New World discovery, Ferdinand and his agent Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia), Pope Innocent VIII's successor, initiated the disinformation campaign that has lasted for over 500 years.
Until a few decades ago, the ocean depths were almost as mysterious and inaccessible as outer space. Oceans cover two-thirds of the earth's surface with an average depth of more than two miles--yet humans had never ventured more than a few hundred feet below the waves. One of the great scientific and archaeological feats of our time has been finally to cast light on the "eternal darkness" of the deep sea. This is the story of that achievement, told by the man who has done more than any other to make it possible: Robert Ballard.
Ballard discovered the wreck of the Titanic. He led the teams that discovered hydrothermal vents and "black smokers"--cracks in the ocean floor where springs of superheated water support some of the strangest life-forms on the planet. He was a diver on the team that explored the mid-Atlantic ridge for the first time, confirming the theory of plate tectonics. Today, using a nuclear submarine from the U.S. Navy, he's exploring the ancient trade routes of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea for the remains of historic vessels and their cargo. In this book, he combines science, history, spectacular illustrations, and first-hand stories from his own expeditions in a uniquely personal account of how twentieth-century explorers have pushed back the frontiers of technology to take us into the midst of a world we could once only guess at.
Ballard begins in 1930 with William Beebe and Otis Barton, pioneers of the ocean depths who made the world's first deep-sea dives in a cramped steel sphere. He introduces us to Auguste and Jacques Piccard, whose "Bathyscaph"descended in 1960 to the lowest point on the ocean floor. He reviews the celebrated advances made by Jacques Cousteau. He describes his own major discoveries--from sea-floor spreading to black smokers--as well as his technical breakthroughs, including the development of remote-operated underwater vehicles and the revolutionary search techniques that led to the discovery and exploration of the Titanic, the Nazi battleship Bismarck, ancient trading vessels, and other great ships.
Readers will come away with a richer understanding of history, earth science, biology, and marine technology--and a new appreciation for the remarkable men and women who have explored some of the most remote and fascinating places on the planet.