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

by Tony Horwitz

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,707538,513 (3.87)117
An irresistible blend of history, myth, and misadventure, this book 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.… (more)
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» See also 117 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
I found this book to be very enjoyable. I read this book as extra credit for one of my classes but liked it nonetheless. I really love learning about history but some academic history books can be very dry and boring to read so I like history books like this where it was written for a broad audience. There was a lot of stuff in this book I didn't know but also lots and lots of facts that I did know. This is probably partially because I'm in an American history class right now but some things that the author discovered where he was like "this is so cool I had no idea this happened!" I already knew about it and it was less exciting. I would say definitely pick up this book if you are interested in learning more about who the earliest settlers of America were, where the went, what they did, and how they affected the native peoples. Very informative and I pretty interesting read. ( )
  AKBouterse | Oct 14, 2021 |
Since I am a fan of Horwitz's wife, Geraldine Brooks, I thought I'd pick up this work of historical investigative journalism from her husband. Traveling with him to discover the history of North America before and until the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, was a treat.

This is not a romanticized version of what happened. He takes pains to interview not only historians but ancestors of the Native Americans whose heritage was completely upended as well. At times it was funny, his description of his experiences in a Micmac sweatlodge had me laughing. Things he found out about Hernando de Soto made me furious. But no matter where he was in the Carribean or the United States, and no matter whose historical record he was examining, I was fascinated. The pages turned themselves.

This is not really a feel-good story for any of us. But Horwitz did his best to find the truth of what happened. The result is a satisfying read. ( )
  Library_Lin | Oct 4, 2021 |
U.S. History is probably taught in different ways across the Country, but few programs, if any, seem to cover the story on our shores in the period between the Columbus discovery and the arrival of the Pilgrims over 100 years later. Yet there were many stories, primarily of the Spanish, but also including the French and British, which are given only the briefest of mention. Horwitz fills that gap, and retells the forgotten stories of the native Americans and earliest explorers. The story is told as part of his own travels across the Country, retracing the steps of many of these early settlers in our Country. It's not just a history review, but historical information told as part of the authors travels, keeping the story fresh and interesting. ( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
I just finished Confederates in the Attic by Horowitz, which I liked, so I thought I would try this book. I have only read the first chapter, but from the reviews below, I think I will like this one too. Will update when I finish it.
  Mapguy314 | May 3, 2020 |
When it comes to early American history, historically two of the primary events we hear about are Columbus' voyages starting in 1492 and the landing of the Pilgrims in 1620 in what is now Massachusetts. It's so long ago now that they get lumped together in our brains as occurring relatively contemporaneously, and few people stop to consider that there were actually 128(!) years in between the two. Tony Horwitz sets out to teach us more about what was happening during that surprisingly large window of time.

It's no surprise that what we're taught about early American history in school is either pared down or focused mostly on folks of British descent, and thanks to this book I learned an incredible amount of new(-to-me) information. Horwitz' journeys to retrace the steps of early journeys of exploration are both entertaining and illuminating, and yet also sadly illustrate how awful humans can be to one another. ( )
  ryner | Apr 15, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (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.”
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tony Horwitzprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fyfe, LisaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayer, John H.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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An irresistible blend of history, myth, and misadventure, this book 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.

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