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A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the…
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A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World (2008)

by Tony Horwitz

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1,451457,519 (3.86)101
Recently added bykoharteh, R_Foster14, coffeymuse, private library, BD_Ethnobotany, thewolvessaid, swatmaker, XanPenrose
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Like most US citizens my age, I was taught a rather vague history of our country in which Columbus proved that the world wasn't flat by discovering America, which, after an inexplicable gap of some 130 years, was settled by pilgrims on a quest for religious freedom. I suppose it is because we are so young when we are taught this, and because it is repeated ad nauseam throughout our lives, that we never question this rather bizarre narrative.

In a book that is part travelogue , part history, and part social commentary on our modern relationship with that history, Tony Horwitz examines the European explorations which preceded Columbus and continues up to the arrival of the pilgrims. He tells not the story we are most commonly told of an unending series of back-to-back successes by brave explorers, but rather the fuller and more accurate story of invaders who suffered many losses before they finally conquered an already occupied land. In the process, he corrects many of the most enduring yet fallacious myths regarding the occupation of the "new world" and gives us in exchange a more honest history and a richer understanding of who we are today. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Jun 3, 2018 |
Staggered by his lack of knowledge about the discovery of America, Horwitz travels around and interviews scholars, historians, and ordinary people about the Vikings, Columbus, the Conquistadors, the Native Americans, and the Pilgrims, trying to separate myth from history. Easy to read and informative as well as hilariously funny. ( )
  Mrs_McGreevy | Nov 17, 2016 |
Joy's review: Horwitz looks at what happened in North America from the Vikings to the Pilgrims and intersperses history with his own travels to the same places today. He is a most entertaining writer and someone I would love to travel with. Some stories I knew, some were new to me, but all were interesting and well worth reading. ( )
  konastories | Jul 1, 2016 |
I thought the conclusion of the book made a profound point--profound to me anyway. I had thought of the book as a more entertaining approach to the same type of material I had read in Mann's 1491 and 1493, but there aren't strong similarities. I found all three of the books mentioned very rewarding. ( )
  rsairs | Nov 23, 2015 |
This was an interesting ramble through early European ventures into North America, with an occasionally whiny tour guide. ( )
  Amelia_Smith | May 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
Never mind his Pulitzer, the best-selling books, the writing jobs at The Wall Street Journal and The New Yorker: Tony Horwitz is a dope. Really, he’ll tell you so himself, and often does, though not in so many words, in his funny and lively new travelogue, “A Voyage Long and Strange.”
 
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Epigraph
"Mistakes . . . are the portals of discovery." James Joyce, Ulysses

"Pray look better, sir," quoth Sancho, "those things yonder are no giants, but windmills." Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
Dedication
To Erica and Josh, bread in the backseat sandwich of our childhood travels.
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The pilgrims didn't think much of Cape Cod.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805076034, Hardcover)

The bestselling author of Blue Latitudes takes us on a thrilling and eye-opening voyage to pre-Mayflower America

On a chance visit to Plymouth Rock, Tony Horwitz realizes he’s mislaid more than a century of American history, from Columbus’s sail in 1492 to Jamestown’s founding in 16-oh-something. Did nothing happen in between? Determined to find out, he embarks on a journey of rediscovery, following in the footsteps of the many Europeans who preceded the Pilgrims to America.

An irresistible blend of history, myth, and misadventure, A Voyage Long and Strange captures the wonder and drama of first contact. Vikings, conquistadors, French voyageurs—these and many others roamed an unknown continent in quest of grapes, gold, converts, even a cure for syphilis. Though most failed, their remarkable exploits left an enduring mark on the land and people encountered by late-arriving English settlers.

Tracing this legacy with his own epic trek—from Florida’s Fountain of Youth to Plymouth’s sacred Rock, from desert pueblos to subarctic sweat lodges—Tony Horwitz explores the revealing gap between what we enshrine and what we forget. Displaying his trademark talent for humor, narrative, and historical insight, A Voyage Long and Strange allows us to rediscover the New World for ourselves.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:08 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

An irresistible blend of history, myth, and misadventure, A Voyage Long and Strange captures the wonder and drama of first contact. Vikings, conquistadors, French voyageurs--these and many others roamed an unknown continent in quest of grapes, gold, converts, even a cure for syphilis. Though most failed, their remarkable exploits left an enduring mark on the land and people encountered by late-arriving English settlers.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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