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Gavin Menzies explores the history of the Chinese in this educational book as a follow up to his book 1421 he shows that some history as we know it is not as it seems.  From the Straight of Magellan to the travels of Christopher Columbus, he shows through documentation that he has found that there is the possibility that the Chinese found the Straight and the Americas before either Magellan or Columbus.

Throughout the book Menzies shows us how the Chinese have navigated the high seas using the stars to pinpoint there locations and how they have influenced the various countries that they encountered with their teachings and the leaving behind of concubines, books and maps.  He suggests that the Chinese provided the maps to various leaders that led the famous explorers to their discoveries.

Menzies has researched this information throughout his life and has followed his leads to prove that his beliefs are correct, now many people may not believe what he says is true, however, with an open mind you can see that there may be some truth, I find it interesting how everyone in those days that had brilliant ideas and dreams tended to share the same influence and used although adjusted the writings and drawings to show their views.

Everyone during that time believed there was a vast world out there, they had inventions and thoughts that were well beyond there time.  From Toscanelli to Da  Vinci and all in between they show that through invention and science and mathematics there is a vast range of discoveries that can occur.

I am not going to give away the entire book in this review, however, I will say this if you love history and you love to read about it this is a book for you, even though I found it very interesting I also found it a hard read, you can tell that Menzies is a historian and that he loves his field, it shows in this book.  He has taken care to show all sides and for that is why I liked the book.

Review by Chrissy Shattuck