Exploration: A Very Short Introduction
We live in an age of globalization on every conceivable level, but globalization has a deeper history than politicians and pundits often allow, and nothing is more significant to its history than exploration. Wherever trade or faith or empire followed, explorers usually led. Their motives were as many-sided and various as their actions; their legacies are contested and mixed. But none can doubt the significance of explorers to the making of the modern world.
For as long as human societies have existed, people have felt the urge to venture outside of them, either in search of other societies or in search of new land or adventure. Exploration: A Very Short Introduction surveys this quintessential human impulse, tracing it from pre-history to the present, from east to west around the globe, and from the depths of volcanoes to the expanses of space.
Focusing on the theme of exploration as encounter, Stewart Weaver discusses the Polynesians in the Pacific, the Norse in the Atlantic, and other early explorers. He reflects on the Columbian "discovery" of the Americas, James Cook and the place of exploration in the Enlightenment, and Alexander von Humboldt's epochal encounter with tropical South America. The book's final chapters relate exploration to imperial expansion in Africa and Central Asia, assess the meaning of the race to the North and South Poles, and consider the significance of today's efforts in space and deep sea exploration.
But what accounts for this urge? Through this brief study of the history of exploration, Weaver clearly shows how the impulse to explore is also the foundation of the globalized world we inhabit today. Exploration combines a narration of explorers' daring feats with a wide-lens examination of what it fundamentally means to explore.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - untraveller - LibraryThing
Nice very brief overview. Read this mostly at Rocky Cape NP in Tasmania. Leeches, an echidna, shells, and lots of rain. But the book, short as it was, helped hold things together. Has a few ... Read full review
Chapter 1 What is and is not exploration?
Chapter 2 The peopling of the earth
Chapter 3 First forays
Chapter 4 The age of exploration
Chapter 5 Exploration and the Enlightenment
Chapter 6 Exploration and empire
Other editions - View all
achievement adventure Africa age of exploration Aimé Bonpland ambition American Amundsen ancient Antarctic Arctic Asia Asian Atlantic Bonpland British Cape Captain century China Christopher Columbus circumnavigation claim coast colonial Columbus’s Condamine conquistadors continent Cook’s cultural David discover discovery earth east empire encounter Enlightenment Ernest Shackleton Europe expedition exploratory explorer’s famous feat Ferdinand Magellan George Mallory global Greenland Henrique’s Henry Morton Stanley history of exploration human Humboldt Iceland imagination Indian Ocean Inuit island James Cook João John journey land landfall later latitude Lhasa Livingstone Magellan maritime exploration medieval Mediterranean Michael migration miles mission modern Nain Singh native navigator never Newfoundland Norse North Northwest Passage Orinoco overland Peary Peary’s polar exploration Pole Polynesian Portuguese Przhevalsky romantic routes Royal Geographical Royal Geographical Society Russian scientific Scott sense settlement ship Spanish story Strait today’s trade Tupaia turned ultimately unknown vast Viking voyage wandering western westward