1421: The Year China Discovered America

1421: The Year China Discovered America

by Gavin Menzies


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On March 8, 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China to "proceed all the way to the ends of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas." When the fleet returned home in October 1423, the emperor had fallen, leaving China in political and economic chaos. The great ships were left to rot at their moorings and the records of their journeys were destroyed. Lost in the long, self-imposed isolation that followed was the knowledge that Chinese ships had reached America seventy years before Columbus and had circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan. And they colonized America before the Europeans, transplanting the principal economic crops that have since fed and clothed the world.

Editorial Reviews

Diane Rehm

What you’ve done, brilliantly, is to raise many questions that people are debating.

New York Times Magazine

[Menzies] makes history sound like pure fun...a seductive read.

Toronto Globe and Mail

Menzies’ enthusiasm is infectious and his energy boundless. He has raised important questions and marshaled some fascinating information.


1421 is likely to be the most fascinating read of 2003.

Daily News

Captivating . . . a historical detective story . . . that adds to our knowledge of the world, past and present.

Christian Science Monitor

No matter what you think of Menzies’s theories, his enthusiasm is infectious.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061564895
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/03/2008
Series: P.S. Series
Pages: 672
Sales rank: 141,824
Product dimensions: 8.94(w) x 6.14(h) x 1.38(d)

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