Saturday, April 5, 2014

Off the Edge of the Map Book Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

When I saw this book, I just knew I had to read it! I love history, and I thought it would be interesting to read about explorers who "pushed the boundaries of the known world".

About the book:

From the #1 bestselling author of History’s Greatest Generals comes an exciting new paperback book on the greatest explorers in history and how their discoveries shaped the modern world
Whether it is Rabban Bar Sauma, the 13th-century Chinese monk commissioned by the Mongols to travel West form a military alliance against the Islam; Marco Polo, who opened a window to the East for Europe; or Captain James Cook, whose maritime voyages of discovery created the global economy of the 21st century, each of these explorers had an indelible impact on the modern world.

This book will look at the 11 greatest explorers in history. Some travelled for religious piety, such as Ibn Battuta, who travelled from North Africa to Indonesia in the 1300s, visiting every Islamic pilgrimage site between — and becoming counselor to over 30 heads of state. Others travelled for profit, such as Ferdinand Magellan, who wanted to consolidate Spain’s holdings on the spice trade. Still others travelled for discovery, such as Ernest Shackleton, who led two dozen men to the bottom of the world in an attempt to cross Antarctica on foot.

Whatever their reason for discovery, these explorers still inspire us today to push the limits of human achievement — and discover something about ourselves in the process.

About the author:

Michael Rank is a historian of the Middle East and a former journalist. He is the author of the Kindle #1 best-seller "From Muhammed to Burj Khalifa: A Crash-Course in 2,000 Years of Middle East History" and "History's Worst Dictators: A Short Guide to the Most Brutal Rulers, From Emperor Nero to Ivan the Terrible."

He blogs about history, religion, society, and culture at the website You can connect with him there, and he would love it if you did.

My thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I didn't get bored once nor did I have to force myself to keep reading. It was fun learning more about the explorers featured in this book. The explorers were picked based on their journeys instead of the significance of their discoveries. The explorers are: 1) Rabban Bar Sauma, 2) Marco Polo, 3) Ibn Battuta, 4) Admiral Ming Zheng He, 5) Hernan Cortes, 6), Ferdinand Magellan, 7) Captain James Cook, 8) Sir Richard Francis Burton, 9) Sir Henry M.Stanley, 10) Ernest Shackelton, and 11) Neil Armstrong.

I loved this quote:
It is the danger of death, thrill of achievement, and celebration of expanding humanity's horizon that will always trigger our desire to seek out the unknown. Most of all, we learn something of ourselves in the process.
The only thing I wished the book had was maps. I think it would have been helpful to have a map that came with each chapter so you knew exactly where the explorer went. I'm pretty good with my geography, but I had to look up a few things because there were a few places I wasn't too sure were located.

But, I would recommend this book to anyone since it was fun history book, and I learned a lot of new information.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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