"A brilliant and readable book…a rich study of humankind's restless spirit." —Candice Millard, New York Times Book Review
Greeted with coast-to-coast acclaim on publication, Fernández-Armesto's ambitious history of world exploration sets a new standard. Presenting the subject for the first time on a truly global scale, Fernández-Armesto tracks the pathfinders who, over the past five millennia, lay down the routes of contact that have drawn together the farthest reaches of the world.
The Wall Street Journal calls it "impressive...a huge story [told] with gusto and panache." To the Washington Post, "Pathfinders is propelled by an Argonaut of an author, indefatigable and daring. It's a wild ride." And in a front-page review, the Seattle Times hails its "tart and elegant presentation...full of surprises. Fernández-Armesto's lively mind, pithy phrasing, and stunningly thorough and diverse knowledge are a constant pleasure."
A plenitude of illustrations and maps in color and black and white augment this rich history. In Pathfinders, winner of the 2007 World History Association Book Prize, we have a definitive treatment of a grand subject.
Readers of history will delight in Fern ndez-Armesto's latest. The Tufts historian (Millennium) deftly manages the near-impossible task of a comprehensive account of world exploration from the dawn of humankind while maintaining an interesting tone throughout. The evocatively titled chapters ("Reaching," "Stirring," "Springing") follow a well-organized outline, and short sections keep the reader from feeling overwhelmed with information. Beginning with Homo erectus's migrations from East Africa to the rest of the continent and to Eurasia a million and a half years ago, the book examines how and why cultures spread throughout the world. Each section of the globe is examined, from the Tigris and Euphrates to the Pacific Islands, the Middle East and Africa. Along the way, technological and scientific leaps, such as sails, cartography and the cure for scurvy are explained. Fern ndez-Armesto also looks at the important role economics and politics have played in world exploration, The author excels when he narrows the focus, such as when he places Columbus into historical context so that the magnitude of his journey and its difficulty are fully felt. This volume truly covers everything the title claims, resulting in a rich history of our world. 16 pages of color illus., 44 b&w illus., 48 maps.