Free Ebook Offer: The Story of America: Discovery - Article 3
Quite a lot happened in Europe between 1002AD, when the Vikings hurriedly packed their longships and retreated back to the colder climes of Greenland, and 1492AD, when the Spanish caravels, with Columbus so confident at the helm, accidentally stumbled across the forgotten continent.
The period, collectively known as the Renaissance, saw a general revival of interest in intellectual thought. Science was studied, with fresh experiments conducted and new conclusions drawn, laws were introduced to control the growing populations and to create more stable societies, medicines were used to cure illness and prolong life, astonomers peered farther into the unknown universe, while geographers mapped and plotted the earth.
All of these advances were aided by the invention of the movable type and a working printing press, which for the first time made books and maps easy to produce and allowed knowledge to be readily available to all.
While Spain united to drive out the Moors and the other major European countries generally moved closer to becoming nation states, so the merchants also started to trade with far-off places and in particular with the other main hubbub of civilization, namely the East (principally China, India and Persia).
This trade brought all sorts of attractive items into daily use and it wasn't long before Europe started to thrive on this vital commerce, though events were suddenly brought to a premature halt by the rise of the Muslems in the Middle East who moved to blockade the profitable trade routes.
When Constantinople, the established base of the Christian Byzantium Empire, finally fell to the forces of the Ottaman Turks in 1453, the trade virtually dried up. The merchants were doomed and a continent that had become more or less dependant on this trade suddenly felt the need to find an alternative route to regain access to this lucrative market.
At that time Portugal was the leading maritime nation in Europe, holding vital access to the Atlantic Ocean, the unknown frontier and as a few believed the real key to access the eastern markets. As they started to explore into this ocean they first found tiny chains of islands - Madeira, the Canary Islands, the Azores and the Cape Verde Islands - but they then turned their ships southwards to chart the continent of Africa. The Atlantic was still too big, too unknown, and they decided to play it safe and stick to the coastline. Their plan was to try and get around the tip of Africa and then to access Asia across the Indian Ocean. This was a safe route, making sense on the maps of the time, as to their knowledge the American continent quite simply did not exist.
How things were going to change!
This excerpt is taken from the third chapter of Discovery - The Story of America by Anthony Treasure. This book is already published in the UK (listed on Amazon.co.uk) and is due to be published in the US at a later date. For now it is published as an ebook and as a SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFER Discovery Part One is available to download COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE. Three further titles - Discovery Part Two, Colonization Part One and Colonization Part Two are also out as ebooks and can be bought and downloaded from the website. To claim your free ebook today simply visit www.farawaybooks.com">http://www.farawaybooks.com
John Oliver's parody book about Vice President Mike Pence's family pet has sold out. The "Last Week Tonight" host appeared on "Ellen" on Tuesday to talk about his new children's book, "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo." The book, which Oliver is using to troll Pence, coincides with the Pence family's release of their own children's book about the family pet rabbit, Marlon Bundo.
The American Library Association is facing significant financial challenges. The Trump administration wants to gut federal support for libraries. And librarians are fighting over whether its next executive director should be required to have a MLS degree...
The National Book Critics Circle announced the winners of its 2017 awards tonight:
Layli Long Soldier, Whereas (Graywolf)
Carina Chocano, You Play The Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Trainwrecks, & Other Mixed Messages (Mariner)
Xiaolu Guo, Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China (Grove)
Caroline Fraser, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Metropolitan Books)
Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (Simon & Schuster)
Joan Silber, Improvement (Counterpoint)
The John Leonard Prize:
Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf)
The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing:
The Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award:
About three-quarters (74%) of Americans have read a book in the past 12 months in any format, a figure that has remained largely unchanged since 2012, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in January. Print books remain the most popular format for reading, with 67% of Americans having read a print book in the past year.
And while shares of print and e-book readers are similar to those from a survey conducted in 2016, there has been a modest but statistically significant increase in the share of Americans who read audiobooks, from 14% to 18%.
Overall, Americans read an average (mean) of 12 books per year, while the typical (median) American has read four books in the past 12 months. Each of these figures is largely unchanged since 2011, when the Center first began conducting the surveys of Americans' book reading habits.
Netflix will begin streaming the movie adaptation of The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society in North America, Latin America, Italy, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia on April 20. Studiocanal will release the film in the U.K. on the same day, followed by Australia, New Zealand, France and Germany.
Accused by at least 10 women of sexual harassment, author Sherman Alexie has decided not to accept the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction that he won for You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir (Little, Brown). His publisher has also delayed the release of the paperback edition.
The Guardian reports on the quandary facing romance authors--in the wake of #MeToo and Time's Up, how 'bad' should the bad boy be?
Introducing what will be an ongoing project, The New York Times writes, "Since 1851, obituaries in the New York Times have been dominated by white men. Now we're adding the stories of 15 remarkable women."
The obituaries published today include Sylvia Plath, Charlotte Bronte and Qui Jin (a feminist poet and revolutionary who became a martyr known as China's 'Joan of Arc.')
Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington will star in and executive produce the TV series Little Fires Everywhere, based on Celeste Ng's book.
Three women have gone on the record with NPR's All Things Considered--and at least seven others have spoken off the record with the show--about author Sherman Alexie's abusive treatment of them, confirming the anonymous and somewhat vague allegations that have been made recently online.