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.
"Old maps lead you to strange and unexpected places, and none does so more ineluctably than the subject of this book: the giant, beguiling Waldseemuller world map of 1507." So begins this remarkable story of the map that gave America its name.
For millennia Europeans believed that the world consisted of three parts: Europe, Africa, and Asia. They drew the three continents in countless shapes and sizes on their maps, but occasionally they hinted at the existence of a "fourth part of the world," a mysterious, inaccessible place, separated from the rest by a vast expanse of ocean. It was a land of myth--until 1507, that is, when Martin Waldseemuller and Matthias Ringmann, two obscure scholars working in the mountains of eastern France, made it real. Columbus had died the year before convinced that he had sailed to Asia, but Waldseemuller and Ringmann, after reading about the Atlantic discoveries of Columbus's contemporary Amerigo Vespucci, came to a startling conclusion: Vespucci had reached the fourth part of the world. To celebrate his achievement, Waldseemuller and Ringmann printed a huge map, for the first time showing the New World surrounded by water and distinct from Asia, and in Vespucci's honor they gave this New World a name: America.
The Fourth Part of the World "is the story behind that map, a thrilling saga of geographical and intellectual exploration, full of outsize thinkers and voyages. Taking a kaleidoscopic approach, Toby Lester traces the origins of our modern worldview. His narrative sweeps across continents and centuries, zeroing in on different portions of the map to reveal strands of ancient legend, Biblical prophecy, classical learning, medieval exploration, imperial ambitions, and more. In Lester's telling the map comes alive: Marco Polo and the early Christian missionaries trek across Central Asia and China; Europe's early humanists travel to monastic libraries to recover ancient texts; Portuguese merchants round up the first West African slaves; Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci make their epic voyages of discovery; and finally, vitally, Nicholas Copernicus makes an appearance, deducing from the new geography shown on the Waldseemuller map that the earth could not lie at the center of the cosmos. The map literally altered humanity's worldview.
One thousand copies of the map were printed, yet only one remains. Discovered accidentally in 1901 in the library of a German castle it was bought in 2003 for the unprecedented sum of $10 million by the Library of Congress, where it is now on permanent public display. Lavishly illustrated with rare maps and diagrams, "The Fourth Part of the World "is the story of that map: the dazzling story of the geographical and intellectual journeys that have helped us decipher our world.
The airship's unclassified mission was an Office of Naval Research project. Objective: to assess the suitability of non-rigid airships (blimps) for support of field parties deployed throughout the North, ashore and afloat. That IGY August, BUNO 126719 crossed the Arctic Circle--the sole military airship ever to do so--en route to rendezvous with a U.S. Air Force ice-rafted camp (drifting station) in the Arctic Ocean. As "719" (delayed) pressed north, Nautilus pierced the geographic pole then without changing course logged the first-ever transit of the deep-ocean Arctic, Pacific to Atlantic.
Based on interviews and correspondence with dozens of participants, and on Navy Department reports, the work presents first-hand material throughout--a distinct contribution to the naval literature. Indeed, Arctic Mission may be the first in-depth (non-popular) account of the boat's epic cruise to 90 N. Further, the ONR expedition across Arctic Canada to IGY BRAVO (ice island T-3) is a singular unknown--even to naval aviators.
A captivating tale spanning 5,000 years of the oceans' history, "The Conquest of the Ocean" tells the stories of the remarkable individuals who sailed seas, for trade, to conquer new lands, to explore the unknown.
From the early Polynesians to the first circumnavigations by the Portuguese and the British, these are awe-inspiring tales of epic sea voyages involving great feats of seamanship, navigation, endurance, and ingenuity. Explore the lives and maritime adventures, many with first-person narratives of land seekers and globe charters such as Christopher Columbus, Captain James Cook, and Vitus Bering.
"A classic in the literature of survival." --Newsweek
On October 12, 1972, a Uruguayan Air Force plane carrying a team of rugby players crashed in the remote, snow-peaked Andes Mountains. Ten weeks later, only 16 of the 45 passengers were found alive. This is the story of those ten weeks spent in the shelter of the plane's fuselage without food and scarcely any hope of a rescue. They survived by protecting and helping one another, and coming to the difficult conclusion that to live meant doing the unimaginable. Confronting nature at its most furious, two brave young men risked their lives to hike through the mountains looking for help--and ultimately found it.--Cleveland Press
A New York Times Notable Book America's first frontier was not the West; it was the sea, and no one writes more eloquently about that watery wilderness than Nathaniel Philbrick. In his bestselling In the Heart of the Sea Philbrick probed the nightmarish dangers of the vast Pacific. Now, in an epic sea adventure, he writes about one of the most ambitious voyages of discovery the Western world has ever seen--the U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838-1842. On a scale that dwarfed the journey of Lewis and Clark, six magnificent sailing vessels and a crew of hundreds set out to map the entire Pacific Ocean and ended up naming the newly discovered continent of Antarctica, collecting what would become the basis of the Smithsonian Institution. Combining spellbinding human drama and meticulous research, Philbrick reconstructs the dark saga of the voyage to show why, instead of being celebrated and revered as that of Lewis and Clark, it has--until now--been relegated to a footnote in the national memory. Winner of the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize
The year was 1765. Eminent botanist Philibert Commerson had just been appointed to a grand new expedition: the first French circumnavigation of the world. As the ships' official naturalist, Commerson would seek out resources--medicines, spices, timber, food--that could give the French an edge in the ever-accelerating race for empire.
Jeanne Baret, Commerson's young mistress and collaborator, was desperate not to be left behind. She disguised herself as a teenage boy and signed on as his assistant. The journey made the twenty-six-year-old, known to her shipmates as "Jean" rather than "Jeanne," the first woman to ever sail around the globe. Yet so little is known about this extraordinary woman, whose accomplishments were considered to be subversive, even impossible for someone of her sex and class.
When the ships made landfall and the secret lovers disembarked to explore, Baret carried heavy wooden field presses and bulky optical instruments over beaches and hills, impressing observers on the ships' decks with her obvious strength and stamina. Less obvious were the strips of linen wound tight around her upper body and the months she had spent perfecting her masculine disguise in the streets and marketplaces of Paris.
Expedition commander Louis-Antoine de Bougainville recorded in his journal that curious Tahitian natives exposed Baret as a woman, eighteen months into the voyage. But the true story, it turns out, is more complicated.
In "The Discovery of Jeanne Baret, "Glynis Ridley unravels the conflicting accounts recorded by Baret's crewmates to piece together the real story: how Baret's identity was in fact widely suspected within just a couple of weeks of embarking, and the painful consequences of those suspicions; the newly discovered notebook, written in Baret's own hand, that proves her scientific acumen; and the thousands of specimens she collected, most famously the showy vine bougainvillea.
Ridley also richly explores Baret's awkward, sometimes dangerous interactions with the men on the ship, including Baret's lover, the obsessive and sometimes prickly naturalist; a fashion-plate prince who, with his elaborate wigs and velvet garments, was often mistaken for a woman himself; the sour ship's surgeon, who despised Baret and Commerson; even a Tahitian islander who joined the expedition and asked Baret to show him how to behave like a Frenchman.
But the central character of this true story is Jeanne Baret herself, a working-class woman whose scientific contributions were quietly dismissed and written out of history--until now. Anchored in impeccable original research and bursting with unforgettable characters and exotic settings, "The Discovery of Jeanne Baret "offers this forgotten heroine a chance to bloom at long last.
An extensively revised edition of Tim Jeal's classic biography published to mark the bicentenary of the great explorer
David Livingstone (1813-1873) is revered as one of history's greatest explorers and missionaries, the first European to cross Africa, and the first to find Victoria Falls and the source of the Congo River. In this exciting new edition, Jeal draws on fresh sources and archival discoveries to provide the most fully rounded portrait of this complicated man--dogged by failure throughout his life despite his full share of success.
Using Livingstone's original field notebooks, Jeal finds that the explorer's problems with his African followers were far graver than previously understood. From recently discovered letters he elaborates on the explorer's decision to send his wife Mary back home to England. He also uncovers fascinating information about Livingstone's importance to the British Empire and about his relationship with the journalist-adventurer Henry Morton Stanley. In addition Jeal here evokes the full pathos of the explorer's final journey. This masterful, updated biography also features an excellent selection of new maps and illustrations.
The maritime history of the Knights Templar following the Church's attempt to expunge them in southern France- Shows that the pirates of legend originated with the Knights Templar's secret navy - Reveals the Templars' secret objective to establish a new universal order based on spirituality, wisdom, and individualism--the New Jerusalem - Examines the secret history of the Templars' influence in international politics When the Vatican condemned the Order of the Temple in 1312, many of those who escaped took to the sea. Their immediate objective was to take revenge on the Church. Recent discoveries confirm that ships of the Templar fleet that went missing at La Rochelle later reappeared--first in the Mediterranean and later in the Atlantic and Caribbean--to menace the Church's maritime commerce. These Templar vessels often flew the famed Jolly Roger, which took its name from King Roger II of Sicily, a famed Templar who, during a public spat with the Pope in 1127, was the first to fly this flag. Opportunistic buccaneers were quick to see that vast wealth could be gained in pursuing the Templars' harassment of the Pope's interests on the high seas, and they spread a reign of terror across the shipping lanes of the New World. Some unaffiliated pirates, in admiration of the Templar egalitarian ideals, even formed their own secret societies, and together with the Templars were part of the ferment that gave rise to independence movements in France and the New World and contributed to the growth of Freemasonry. The Templar Pirates is the story of the birth and actual conduct of piracy on the seas of the New World and of the influence the Templars had on their constituents, and, by their wealth, on the governments of nations old and new.