1421: The Year China Discovered America

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Title1421: The Year China Discovered America
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsMenzies, Gavin China
Number of Pages672
PublisherHarper Perennial

"The incredible true story of the discovery of America before Columbus was even born. Gavin Menzies's extraordinary findings rewrite history. On March 8, 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen sailed from its base in China. The ships, huge junks nearly five hundred feet long and built from the finest teak, were under the command of Emperor Zhu Di's loyal eunuch admirals. Their mission was "to proceed all the way to the end of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas" and unite the whole world in Confucian harmony. Their journey would last more than two years and circle the globe." (from back cover) Book is highly controversial and relatively unproven.

Note: The works of Gavin Menzies have been heavily scrutinized by scholars and his controversial claims have been seriously questioned. Educators should proceed with caution for any classroom use.


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Average Rating:
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Reviews for 1421: The Year China Discovered America


Posted By: Diana Marston Wood

Posted On: June 10, 2009

This is a book for those teachers who want to focus on critical thinking relative to some very controversial views. Most scholars consider Menzies with utter disdain. If you read selectively in this long book, you will see that he promises more proof (that the Chinese beat Columbus to the Americas) "in the future." What he offers is pretty shaky. We also have a film in the Pitt ASC library which works well with students. This book would work best as a research project for the student who likes to get into close analysis and controversy, but all teachers should know about his work.