1421: The Year China Discovered America

Front Cover
HarperCollins, 2004 - History - 649 pages

On March 8, 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China. Its mission was "to proceed all the way to the ends of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas" and unite the whole world in Confucian harmony.

When it returned in October 1423, the emperor had fallen, leaving China in political and economic chaos. The great ships were left to rot at their moorings and the records of their journeys were destroyed. Lost in China's long, self-imposed isolation that followed was the knowledge that Chinese ships had reached America seventy years before Columbus and had circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan. Also concealed was how the Chinese colonized America before the Europeans and transplanted in America and other countries the principal economic crops that have fed and clothed the world.

Unveiling incontrovertible evidence of these astonishing voyages, 1421 rewrites our understanding of history. Our knowledge of world exploration as it has been commonly accepted for centuries must now be reconceived due to this landmark work of historical investigation.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - geza.tatrallyay - www.librarything.com

Menzies, a former sea captain, cites controversial evidence to posit that huge Chinese armadas sailed the oceans in the early 15th century, discovering south and North America in the process. While ... Read full review

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User Review  - 3wheeledlibrarian - LibraryThing

I listened to this as an audiobook from the library. Because he kept saying that further research would be published on a website for the book, I opened Google. Heads up: There is a significant effort ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Gavin Menzies is the bestselling author of 1421: The Year China Discovered America, 1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance, and The Lost Empire of Atlantis: History's Greatest Mystery Revealed. His ideas have been profiled in the New York Times Magazine and the Wall Street Journal, and he has lectured at the Library of Congress, Royal Geographical Society, National Maritime Museum, and other prestigious venues. He served in the Royal Navy between 1953 and 1970. His knowledge of seafaring and navigation sparked his interest in the epic voyages of Chinese Admiral Zheng He. Menzies lives in London.

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