Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Speaking of dreck, here comes Captain Menzies again!

After noting, just below, the proliferation of bad books and the lack of ones we want and need, I came across notice of Gavin Menzies's new book. In 1421 Menzies proposed that in that year Chinese fleets went around the world and all over the world, circumnavigated Greenland, and left obvious relics no one but Menzies could see in places like New Zealand. They managed to avoid only one corner of the world: Europe, where notice might have been taken of them. Yeah, sure they did.

Now he is launching a new book, 1434. This time he is going to explain how Europe was not left out at all. A Chinese fleet visited Italy and launched the European Renaissance. It's just that nobody noticed until Menzies did. Yeah, sure they did.

1421 got a surprising amount of respectful attention; no doubt 1434 will, too. You really can say anything about history if you wield enough panache.
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