- Hardcover: 132 pages
- Publisher: Praeger Pub; First edition (October 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0275939561
- ISBN-13: 978-0275939564
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #987,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians First Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a blessed thing that in every age some one has had individuality enough and courage enough to stand by his own convictions,—some one who had the grandeur to say his say. I believe it was Magellan who said, "The church says the earth is flat; but I have seen its shadow on the moon, and I have more confidence even in a shadow than in the church." On the prow of his ship were disobedience, defiance, scorn, and success.
A flat-earther is used to refer to someone today who is a fool and is going against the progress of science. It's certainly easy to write off people as believing this. I know in Elementary school and beyond I was taught that Columbus sailed around to demonstrate that the Earth was round and not flat. (Which even if that had been the case, considering he didn't circumnavigate the globe, he did not prove that anyway.
If only I had know about Russell's book back then.
Russell's book is incredibly short. You can easily read it in a couple of hours like I did. In doing so, you will have invested those hours well. Russell points out that after the time of Christ, there were only two people who really brought out the idea that the Earth was flat. How many followers did they get on that count? None. They were certainly the minority. Alas, these two are thought to be representative of the time as a whole, ignoring all the other evidence that indicates people knew it was round.Read more ›
The book includes the following chapters -
Preface - explains the role of the prejudice among "educated people" that medieval Europeans believed the earth to be flat before the time of Columbus.
The Well-Rounded Planet - considers the voyage of Columbus and the importance of this voyage, noting many of the objections to Columbus from the perspectives of the American natives. Notes how many argue falsely that Columbus's voyage was used to prove to medieval skeptics that the earth was round.Read more ›
He wrote in the Preface to this 1991 book, "The almost universal supposition that educated medieval people believed the earth to be flat puzzled me and struck me as dissonant when I was in elementary school, but I assumed that teacher knew best and shelved my doubts. By the time my children were in elementary school, they were learning the same mistake, and by that time I knew it was a falsehood. Most of the undergraduates I have taught have received the same misinformation... The Flat Earth error is firmly fixed in our minds; I hope this little book will do a little to help dislodge it." (Pg. xiii) He adds, "By the time Copernicus had revolutionized the way people viewed the planets---as revolving around the sun rather the earth---the seed of the Flat Earth had been planted, but it did not grow to choke the truth until much later. When did it triumph and why? Who was responsible? There are the main questions of this book." (Pg.Read more ›