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Journalist Bergreen, who has penned biographies of James Agee, Louis Armstrong, Irving Berlin and Al Capone, superbly recreates Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan's obsessive 16th-century quest, an ill-fated journey that altered Europe's perception of the planet: "It was a dream as old as the imagination: a voyage to the ends of the earth.... Mariners feared they could literally sail over the edge of the world." In 2001, Bergreen traveled the South American strait that bears Magellan's name, and he adds to that firsthand knowledge satellite images of Magellan's route plus international archival research. His day-by-day account incorporates the testimony of sailors, Francisco Albo's pilot's log and the eyewitness accounts of Venetian scholar Antonio Pigafetta, who was on the journey. Magellan's mission for Spain was to find a water route to the fabled Spice Islands, and in 1519, the Armada de Molucca (five ships and some 260 sailors) sailed into the pages of history. Many misfortunes befell the expedition, including the brutal killing of Magellan in the Philippines. Three years later, one weather-beaten ship, "a vessel of desolation and anguish," returned to Spain with a skeleton crew of 18, yet "what a story those few survivors had to tell-a tale of mutiny, of orgies on distant shores, and of the exploration of the entire globe," providing proof that the world was round. Illuminating the Age of Discovery, Bergreen writes this powerful tale of adventure with a strong presence and rich detail. Maps, 16-page color photo insert.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Ferdinand Magellan's ship was the first to circumnavigate the globe. While the accomplishment is recognized as a historic milestone, less known are the details of that voyage around the world. Magellan spent years trying to win the favor of the king of Portugal, and failing that he swore loyalty to the Spanish crown. After finally receiving Spain's backing for a trip to the Spice Islands, the king imposed numerous stipulations that would affect Magellan's crew and his authority over them. Once his fleet finally embarked, he had to contend with violent storms, mutinous crewmembers, and hostile natives. Bergreen tells a well-rounded story of Magellan, not just that of the romanticized hero but also that of the explorer's darker side. He also puts the voyage into its historical context, going into detail about what was known of the world at the time (and what was still uncharted), the rivalry between Portugal and Spain, and the church's attempt to divide up the New World between them. Fascinating reading for history buffs, and a great story that rivals any seagoing adventure. Gavin Quinn
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A wonderful rip roaring adventure. It's not the greatest book ever written, but I was glued to the story and the adventure. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Gene Horwitz
Easy to read, and to read spaced out over numerous sessions. This was my carry around book. So I was reading it in 10 to 40 minute minute segments spaced over 18 months. Read morePublished 5 days ago by kc
Magellan's fleet accomplished the singular feat of circumnavigating the globe. And the account of the events of that voyage are told in a riveting style. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Sturmey Archer
Really interesting book. I learned so much more about Magellen and the voyage than I had in Eighth Grade history class!!Published 6 days ago by No name
This is a fascinating and richly researched account of the remarkable odyssey endured by Ferdinand Magellan and his fleet of five ships and 260 sailors who set off in August of... Read morePublished 7 days ago by M. Elizabeth Murray
Great book. Well written and interesting. I recommend it to anyone who is intrepid (even if you hate history).Published 7 days ago by Kermit
And we think we live in the age of discovery today? Ha! This is an incredible astonishing tale of men risking all for riches, glory, adventure, and learning. Read morePublished 16 days ago by RS