A Voyage Long and Strange

  • by Tony Horwitz
  • Narrated by Tony Horwitz
  • 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On a chance visit to Plymouth Rock, Tony Horwitz makes an unsettling discovery. A history buff since early childhood, expensively educated at university - a history major, no less! - he's reached middle age with a third-grader's grasp of early America. In fact, he's mislaid more than a century of American history, the period separating Columbus' landing in 1492 from the arrival of English colonists at Jamestown in 160-...something. Did nothing happen in between?Horwitz decides to find out, and in A Voyage Long and Strange he uncovers the neglected story of America's founding by Europeans. He begins a thousand years ago, with the Vikings, and then tells the dramatic tale of conquistadors, castaways, French voyageurs, Moorish slaves, and many others who roamed and rampaged across half the states of the present-day U.S. continent, long before the Mayflower landed.To explore this history and its legacy in the present, Horwitz embarks on an epic quest of his own - trekking in search of grape-rich Vinland, Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth, Coronado's Cities of Gold, Walter Raleigh's Lost Colonists, and other mysteries of early America. And everywhere he goes, Horwitz probes the revealing gap between fact and legend, between what we enshrine and what we forget.An irresistible blend of history, myth, and misadventure, A Voyage Long and Strange allows us to rediscover the New World for ourselves.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A great read/listen

This was an exceptionally compelling read/listen. A couple of years ago I read/listened to a book called "Lies my teacher told me ..." and while it was compelling I felt it was too personalized and reactionary from the authors perspective and sought to vilify any and all Europeans that forded the "new world". This book has similar content but the author leaves a lot to the reader to assess on their own regarding the historical first days of the American epoch. For me I was taken back to the roots of American culture both pre and post European "contact". The author has done a great job taking you down the paths of famous conquistadors and Native Americans ... it's very easy to conjure the struggle these brave men and women went through in fairly vivid detail. While this abridged version is thorough, it is not the "hard core" history some advanced historians may require to be completely convinced of the book's legitimacy. That being said, there are some gaps to be filled and references to follow up on to have a complete picture of the events outlined in this book. Over all I enjoyed every moment of this book and was left wanting more stories of a truly "magical" time in history.
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- Nathanial

Parallel Voyages

I enjoyed every minute of this audiobook. Horwitz reads his own stories, as he describes European contacts with the "New World" prior to the Pilgrims' famous Plymouth landing. The contacts are numerous and varied. Horwitz made his own research voyages to the locales of these centuries-ago contacts, talking to the people who live there today as well as to experts on the location's history and archeology - often the locals are also the experts. Listening to Horwitz's stories of the people he meets during his parallel voyages is every bit as interesting as the historical records he describes.
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- Jeanne

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-29-2008
  • Publisher: Random House Audio