In 1519 Magellan and his fleet of five ships set sail from Seville, Spain, to discover a water route to the fabled Spice Islands in Indonesia, where the most sought-after commodities -- cloves, pepper, and nutmeg -- flourished. Three years later, a handful of survivors returned with an abundance of spices from their intended destination, but with just one ship carrying eighteen emaciated men. During their remarkable voyage around the world the crew endured starvation, disease, mutiny, and torture. Many men died, including Magellan, who was violently killed in a fierce battle.
This is the first full account in nearly half a century of this voyage into history: a tour of the world emerging from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance; a startling anthropological account of tribes, languages, and customs unknown to Europeans; and a chronicle of a desperate grab for commercial and political power....Continua
This was one of those books that I couldn't get enough of, the kind that makes me love reading about history.....Man, when I think of not only the multitude of different people and ways of life and environments on this globe in the present day, and then add a whole extra dimension by expanding that backward through all points in time, I am in awe.
Think of the incredible stories and history, and then think of all the incredible stories which must never have been told, especially during the 10 000s of thousands of years of human prehistory - tales of tribes and clans battling for territory and also tales of individual friends and lovers and adventures.
OK everything I said isn't really a review of this book. Read it, it's a great history novel. I love the style where it is essentially chronological, and focuses on a main character and story, but with lots of interesting detours to look at other characters and other subjects that are related to the main topic. These divergences are great, and how I love to learn in life as well. I'm really starting to see that I can't get enough of writers who do history in this style, and I wonder how to search out more of this "kind" of history writing....Continua