1421: The Year China Discovered America

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1421: The Year China Discovered America

Author: Gavin Menzies
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Copyright: 2002
Pages: 649
Cover Price: $ 15.95

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Compelling evidence that the Chinese were the first great maritime explorers -- not the Europeans. Rewrite the history books! In 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen sailed from its base in China. The ships, huge junks nearly 500 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 over two years and circle the globe.

When they returned, Zhu Di had lost power and China was beginning its long, self-imposed isolation from the world. The great ships rotted and the records of their journeys were destroyed. Lost was the knowledge that Chinese ships had reached America 70 years before Columbus and circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan. They had also discovered Antarctica, reached Australia 350 years before Cook, and solved the problem of longitude 300 years before the Europeans.

In this fascinating historical detective story, Gavin Menzies shares the remarkable account of his discoveries and the incontrovertible evidence supporting them.

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Background Information

American trade with China has grown from clipper ships bringing high-value cargo during the 19th century to cargo ships loaded with manufactured items in the 21st. Christopher Columbus was an Italian who was sent by the kingdom of Spain west in search of a sea route to China, but he found America.