Over the Edge of the World

Over the Edge of the World
Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe by Laurence Bergreen
2003 | PDF | 5.44MB

Ferdinand Magellan's daring circumnavigation of the globe in the sixteenth century was a three-year odyssey filled with sex, violence, and amazing adventure. Now in Over the Edge of the World, acclaimed author Laurence Bergreen, interweaving a variety of candid, first-person accounts, some previously unavailable in English, brings to life this groundbreaking and majestic tale of discovery that changed many long-held views about the world and the way explorers would henceforth navigate its oceans.

In 1519 Magellan and his fleet set sail from Seville, Spain, to find a water route to the Spice Islands in Indonesia, where the most sought-after commodities -- cloves, pepper, and nutmeg -- flourished. Most important, they were looking for a passageway, a strait, through the great landmass of the Americas that would lead them to these fabled islands. Laurence Bergreen takes readers on board with Magellan and his crew as they explore, navigate, mutiny, suffer, and die across the seas. He also recounts the many unusual sexual practices the crew experienced, from orgies in Brazil to bizarre customs in the South Pacific. With a fleet of five ships and more than two hundred men, they had set out in search of the Spice Islands. Three years later they returned with an abundance of spices from their intended destination, but with just one ship carrying eighteen emaciated men. They suffered starvation, disease, and torture, and many died, including Magellan, who was violently killed in a fierce battle.

A man of great tenacity, cunning, and courage, Magellan was full of contradictions. He was both heroic and foolish, insightful yet blind, a visionary whose instincts outran his ideals. Ambitious to a fault and not above using torture and murder to maintain control of his ships and sailors, he survived innumerable natural hazards in addition to several violent mutinies aboard his own fleet -- and it took no less than the massed forces of fifteen hundred men to kill him.

This is the first time in nearly half a century that anyone has attempted to narrate the complete story of Magellan's unprecedented circumnavigation of the globe -- to tell this truly gripping and profoundly important story of heroism, discovery, and disaster. A voyage into history, a tour of the world emerging from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance, an anthropological account of tribes, languages, and customs unknown to Europeans, and a chronicle of a desperate grab for commercial and political power, Over the Edge of the World is a captivating tale that rivals the most exciting thriller fiction.

Roads to Quoz: An American Mosey

Roads to Quoz: An American Mosey
Roads to Quoz: An American Mosey by William Least Heat-Moon
2008 | EPUB | 1.79MB

About a quarter century ago, a previously unknown writer named William Least Heat-Moon wrote a book called Blue Highways. Acclaimed as a classic, it was a travel book like no other. Quirky, discursive, endlessly curious, Heat-Moon had embarked on an American journey off the beaten path. Sticking to the small places via the small roads--those colored blue on maps--he uncovered a nation deep in character, story, and charm.

Now, for the first time since Blue Highways, Heat-Moon is back on the backroads. ROADS TO QUOZ is his lyrical, funny, and touching account of a series of American journeys into small-town America.

On the Spartacus Road

On the Spartacus Road
On the Spartacus Road: A Spectacular Journey Through Ancient Italy by Peter Stothard
2010 | EPUB | 6.86MB

The name of Spartacus resounds through history. In the final century of the first Roman Republic an army of slaves led by Spartacus rose up in Italy. Its success was something no one before had ever known. The Spartacus Road is the route along which this rebel army outfought the world's finest military forces between 73and 71 BC, bringing both fears and hopes that have never wholly left the modern mind.

Sweepingly erudite and strikingly personal, On The Spartacus Road is a book like none otherŚat once a journalist's notebook, a reflection on life's fragility, including the author's own fight against cancer; and a classicist's celebration. As he travels along the Spartacus Road and into the classical Italian landscape, Stothard breathes new life into a singular war in antiquity, recounting one of the greatest stories of the ages.

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