• The Great Age of Discovery, Volume 1

  • Columbus, Magellan, and the Early Explorations
  • By: Paul Herrmann
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 12 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 12-06-04
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audio Connoisseur
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.9 (235 ratings)

Regular price: $30.80

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Publisher's Summary

In the space of 400 years, Western man methodically set out to explore and map the entire earth. During some of the most dangerous expeditions ever mounted, an extraordinary group of determined men forced passages through vast oceans, dark jungles, and withering deserts. Never has their like been seen since. What drove these soldiers, sailors, and civilians to leave the comforts of civilized life and face the horrors of shipwreck, starvation, cannibals, and disease? The primary motivations were fame, fortune, and adventure...sometimes all three. But with some of these explorers there was also a sense of duty, the idea that it was their destiny to discover new lands, new trading routes, to further the prominence of their king and country, and to illuminate the dark corners of the planet to solve the geological riddles that had puzzled humanity for eons.
In Paul Herrmann's great synthesis of anthropology, archaeology, medicine, and wonderful narrative history, we discover the story behind the great expeditions. We learn how they were organized and carried out, what happened when Europeans confronted strange and often savage societies, and what happened to these explorers upon their return to Europe. We also learn what impact their discoveries had on primitive cultures and European society. But this history is also much more. The result is an unbelievable picture of mankind swept up in the dramatic passage from enforced isolation to a dynamic worldwide trading network.
Volume 1 follows the voyages of Columbus, da Gama, Magellan, Cortes, Pizarro, and others as the Western hemisphere is discovered and mapped. After Magellan's voyage, the world of trade takes a revolutionary turn and the fortunes of Europe and the Mediterranean are changed forever.
Did you enjoy Volume 1 of The Great Age of Discovery? Then be sure to listen to the conclusion in Volume 2
©2004 Audio Connoisseur
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Howard on 01-04-05

Discover this Book

This is one of the best audiobooks I have had the pleasure to listen to since I joined audible. This is a rollicking rendition of the age of exploration. It covers the political, social and economic impact of the discoveries which in fact were profound but unappreciated today in the fog of history. It is also a fine high adventure tale told form the standpoint of the explorers themselves and relates numerous incidents and smaller figures involved in the events that are rarely related in standard texts. What's more, it is all true. The narration is superb. I can't wait for volume II.

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83 of 85 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Gnarly1 on 05-12-05

Fun, but beware of some of the conclusions

This (and the companion second volume) are good listening and provide a wealth of detail about numerous explorers - many you have heard of and several you have not. (Did you know that a Scotsman named Mungo Parks was one of the first great African explorers?)
The narrator has a wonderful British accent which , naturally, makes the text sound very authoritative.
The book was written in 1958. Consequently, some of the hypotheses advanced by Herrmann are no longer viable. For example, recent DNA analysis has disproved the theory of migration from the Americas west to Polynesia [the "Kon-Tiki theory"].
Setting that aside, the book is fun and brings some real insight into larger than life figures like Columbus and Magellan, while introducing a number of explorers history barely remembers.
The final problem with listening to any book involving many geographical references is that the listener does not have the benefit of any maps that the printed version may contain. So have an atlas handy.

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30 of 31 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 12-07-13

Eye Opening

Would you listen to The Great Age of Discovery, Volume 1 again? Why?

The book covers many of the big events and characters of the early European discoveries. Throughout it is enjoyable with interesting detail whilst not becoming bogged down - it has a sense of movement fitting for a book on adventurers. It made me interested in visiting some of the locations.

What did you like best about this story?

This gave me an understanding of events that I knew little about, other than that they happened. The most enlightening part was Columbus' early explorations and the time spent discussing what was seen (or not seen) on the horizon and how it played on the minds of the captain and the crew.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

In terms of duration, the book is substantial and not very well segmented by Audible's chapter splitting.

Any additional comments?

The author tops and tails the book with references to Germany, without much mention between. It's odd until you realise that the original book was written in German for the German market. Also, there are some odd references that seem to jar with modern culture like "noble savages" but may be explained by the book being written in the 1970s. (To be clear, I don't think that there was any malice in the use of this term).

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Jose F Miranda on 05-07-17


I was really looking forward to this book. A good account of one of the most amazing parts of history. Some parts brilliant, most not so. It's written by a German for Germans. Many accounts of German people of very little importance while major historical characters brushed aside very quickly. A pity.

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