The Great Age of Discovery, Volume 2

  • by Paul Herrmann
  • Narrated by Charlton Griffin
  • 13 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

As the 18th century approached its midpoint, commercial and military competition between the European states became fierce. And whoever obtained accurate information about distant lands would hold an advantage. Were there continental landmasses in the Pacific? Was there a Northwest Passage to Japan and China? What lay in the interior of Africa? Was it possible to cross the Sahara? Where did the rivers Nile and Congo originate?The concluding volume of The Great Age of Discovery follows the explorations that mapped the vast Pacific ocean and the menacing interior of Africa. The names of three men figure prominently in this saga: Captain James Cook, David Livingstone, and Henry Morton Stanley. But there were many equally brave men who are not so well known and whose incredible achievements deserve recognition. Author Paul Herrmann gives them their due with grace and vigor.There have never been explorers like these, and probably never will be again. Through frightening storms at sea, vast wastelands of sand, and dark, impenetrable jungle, these men carried the light of knowledge so that all who followed after could see.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Entertaining and moving

The two volumes in this series are written with panache and an enthusiasm for the subject that is extremely refreshing. As one reviewer has pointed out, the book was written in the fifties and there are a few places, mainly in regard to Polynesia, that are not up to date. But so what? Ninety nine percent of the book is factual and any mistakes were honest ones. What will they say in another fifty years about books written in 2005? The author has done an incredible job of tying together a lot of disparate academic disciplines, and in so doing he has produced a masterpiece. As for the narrator, all you need to do is listen to the sample and hear him for yourself, and then decide. In my book, he is by far the best narrator on Audible. Unless you are a snooty English language snob, you will enjoy this recording. Highly recommended!
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- Aaron

A good listen, but beware of some hypotheses

This (and the companion first 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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- Gnarly1

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-24-2005
  • Publisher: Audio Connoisseur