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A Voyage Long and Strange Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Abridged edition (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1415943958
  • ISBN-13: 978-1415943953
  • ASIN: 0739317237
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,662,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Horwitz was a smart choice to read his wonderful book about all he-and we-didn't know about American history, and he's done an excellent abridgement , choosing parts from his long work that work best in audio form. This is as far from a series of history lectures as most listeners could hope. Imagine meeting the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Confederates In The Attic at your favorite coffee shop and listening to him tell you, with a voice filled with amazement, a few of the surprising things he learned after visiting Plymouth Rock and realizing how little he knew of what happened in America before the Pilgrims arrived. This audio experience will have listeners hoping for a refill with Horwitz. A Holt hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 10).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Horwitz has presented what could be described as a guide for those who are historically ignorant of the “lost century” between the first voyage of Columbus and the establishment of Jamestown in 1607. In this informative, whimsical, and thoroughly enjoyable account, Horwitz describes the exploits of various explorers and conquistadores and enriches the stories with his own experiences when visiting some of the lands they “discovered.” Horwitz writes in a breezy, engaging style, so this combination of popular history and travelogue will be ideal for general readers.—Booklist (starred review)

“Irreverent, effervescent… accessible to all ages, hands-on and immensely readable, this book invites readers to search out America ’s story for themselves.”—Kirkus Reviews

“This readable and vastly entertaining history travelogue is highly recommended.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“Funny and lively…popular history of the most accessible sort.  The stories [Horwitz] tells are full of vivid characters and wild detail.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A romp through the sixteenth century….  Horwitz has an ear for a good yarn and an instinct for the trail leading to an entertaining anecdote.”—The Washington Post

“Honest, wonderfully written, and heroically researched….  Horwitz unearths whole chapters of American history that have been ignored.”—Boston Globe

“Like travel writer Bill Bryson, Horwitz has a penchant for meeting colorful characters and getting himself into bizarre situations.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“A sweeping history.…  A fascinating story, filled with adventure, Vikings, French voyageurs and those Pilgrims.”—The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Horwitz is a very funny writer.”—Bloomberg News

“A winning and eye-opening read.…  Horwitz’s charm, smarts, impeccable research and curiosity make this a voyage worth taking.”—The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

“By conveying our past so heartily, handsomely and winsomely, Tony Horwitz does America proud.”—The Providence Journal

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Tony is a native of Washington, D.C., and a graduate of Brown University and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. He spent a decade overseas as a foreign correspondent, mainly covering wars and conflicts for The Wall Street Journal. After returning to the U.S., he won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting and wrote for The New Yorker before becoming a full-time author.

His books include the national and New York Times bestsellers, Confederates in the Attic, Blue Latitudes, Baghdad Without a Map and A Voyage Long and Strange. Midnight Rising, was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2011; one of the year's ten best books by Library Journal; and won the 2012 William Henry Seward Award for Excellence in Civil War Biography. His latest, BOOM, is his first ebook, about a journey through the tar sands and along the route of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Tony has also been a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and a visiting scholar at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. He lives with his wife, Geraldine Brooks, and their sons, Nathaniel and Bizu, on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

I have always enjoyed history and this book was a lot of fun to read.
H. Hoffman
His writing style flows well, and I am always impressed by the amount of effort he has put into collecting information for his books.
David Pruette
Subtitled "Rediscovering the New World", this particular book is about the early voyages, discoveries and settlements in America.
Linda Linguvic

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Walters VINE VOICE on May 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Some of my favorite books are those in which the authors recreate historical voyages. Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki and Ra journeys, Colin Tubrin's pilgrimage along the Silk Road, Dayton Duncan's re-tracing the Lewis & Clark path: I love reading that stuff. And now Tony Horwitz has contributed to the genre with his A Voyage Long and Strange, a book in which he "roams the annals of early America" (p. 7). Readers who remember his Confederates in the Attic can well imagine the insight with which Horwitz explores the history of the New World's discovery and the wry sense of humor he brings to his personal rediscovery of ancient routes.

Horwitz set out to explore all the points in the New World "discovered" and described by early explorers. Focusing on the three categories (that frequently, in reality, overlapped) of discovery, conquest, and settlement, Horwitz narrates the history of, for example, Coronado's search for the Cities of Gold (pp. 134-164) or the settlement of Roanoke's "lost colony" (pp. 293-325), and interweaves in the narration accounts of his own travels over Coronado's route and his exploration of the Carolina peninsula where the lost colony once flourished. The mixture makes for exciting reading, lending a contemporary vitality to the historical descriptions.

I was especially intrigued by Horwitz's account of the Spanish exploration of the New World (chapters 5-9). It's as good a short account of the conquest of the southeastern coastal regions, the southwestern deserts, and the plains west of the Mississippi, as any I know. Chapter 9, which deals with de Soto's rather aimless trek north of what today is Louisiana into Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas--which Horwitz describes as "wandering blind, deaf, and mute in the middle of the continent" (p.
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176 of 199 people found the following review helpful By M. L Lamendola VINE VOICE on May 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A delightful historical narrative! And quite refreshing in this age of disinformation.

While our public schools continue their relentless rewriting of history to fit the agenda of special interest groups (such as the criminal protection lobby's removal of firearms from image of Washington crossing the Delaware), it's good to come across a book based on open-minded research. Turning the conventional pattern completely backwards, Horwitz seeks information and then forms conclusions. That approach made this book a "keeper." In fact, Horwitz deftly defrocks a long list of myths, half-truths, and utter fabrications that are almost canonical today.

He defies another convention by staying on topic. If you've been offended by books the author uses to segue into political side issues, you'll be pleased at Horwitz's not doing that.

Tony Horwitz follows the centuries-long European discovery of the new world. This discovery didn't, as popular myth holds, start at Plymouth Rock. Nor, as we are told during Thanksgiving each year, did European settlement begin with the Pilgrims. In fact, those folks didn't call themselves Pilgrims--that's a label fabricated for them in much later times.

The discovery, exploration, and settlement occurred in fits and starts. It was more stumbling and bumbling than it was heroic conquest. And it was more often brutal than it was noble.

While reading this, I frequently laughed aloud. Horwitz has a knack for keeping things lively with quips, barbs, and acerbic wit. His own adventures while visiting the many places discussed in the book sometimes produced situations that were farcical enough for a few chuckles. At other times, the people he ran across were, themselves, hilarious.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A. Rehm on June 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Some people get turned off by Horwitz's light, popular style; he mixes his history with his own travelogues as he follows its trail, which means that parts of his books are about crappy hotel rooms and weirdos. All that fluff conceals a careful, sober researcher, though; when you're done breezing through one of his books, you'll realize that you learned quite a bit after all.

"A Voyage Long and Strange" covers the murky epoch between the original "discovery" of America and the 1620 Plymouth settlement, when men like Hernando de Soto and Cabeza de Vaca were wandering lost and starving through America, looking for gold and shooting everything else. Fascinating stuff.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Julie Neal TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When a history book describes Plymouth Rock as looking like a "fossilized potato" and Florida's capitol building as "The Big D...," you know you're in for something unusual. Having gone to college in Tallahassee, I can attest to the reasons for the capitol's nickname -- its "towering shaft flanked by gonadlike domes," as author Tony Horwitz puts it. He writes with equal wit throughout "A Voyage Long and Strange," a smart, funny book that skewers traditional views of our nation's past. I couldn't put it down.

The book explores the lusty, violent period in American history between Columbus and Jamestown. Horwitz embarks on a journey of his own, exploring the modern-day places where our country began. Along the way he uncovers some strange truths -- Columbus never saw or set foot on any land that became U.S. soil; Pocahontas was only 10 years old when she met John Smith and they were never romantic; Ponce de Leon was looking not for the Fountain of Youth but rather gold, just like so many others. The overall picture is cruel, hilarious, messy, unfair and always fascinating.

Over a dozen maps and many historical black and white illustrations are scattered through the book.

Here's the chapter list:

Part 1: Discovery
1. Vinland: First contact
2. 1492: The hidden half of the globe
3. Santo Domingo: The Columbus jinx
4. Dominican Republic: You think there are still Indians?

Part II: Conquest
5. The Gulf Coast: Naked in the New World
6. The Southwest: To the Seven Cities of Stone
7. The Plains: Sea of grass
8. The South: De Soto does Dixie
9. The Mississippi: Conquistador's last stand

Part III: Settlement
10. Florida: Fountain of youth, river of blood
11. Roanoke: Lost in the lost colony
12. Jamestown: The captain and the naturals
13. Plymouth: A tale of two rocks
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