e-Book The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map That Gave America Its Name download

e-Book The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map That Gave America Its Name download

by Toby Lester

ISBN: 1440731756
ISBN13: 978-1440731754
Language: English
Publisher: Recorded Books (2009)
Category: World
Subategory: History

ePub size: 1955 kb
Fb2 size: 1712 kb
DJVU size: 1152 kb
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 205
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Why the heck is America called America and not, say, Columbia? You’ll find the answer to that question and .

Why the heck is America called America and not, say, Columbia? You’ll find the answer to that question and many more in Toby Lester‘s. But in 1507 a peculiar item appeared–the Waldseemuller map- that outlined a fourth part of the world called America, with the Atlantic Ocean on the one side and an unnamed ocean on the other. Here’s the really curious thing though: at that time no European had ever seen what we now call the Pacific Ocean. Balboa was the first to see it, and he didn’t do so until 1513.

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So begins this remarkable story of the map that gave America its name

So begins this remarkable story of the map that gave America its name. For millennia Europeans believed that the world consisted of three parts: Europe, Africa, and Asia.

The map is most famous for having given America its name, which alone would make it a historical treasure. But it charts something much larger and more complex than just the contours of New World discovery. Toby Lester's book is a sumptuous feast. We meet an extraordinary cast of philosophers, merchants and astronomers.

As Toby Lester tells in this boundlessly engaging book, this map was not just the first to give America a name, it was the very first to show it as a continent, separated from Asia by a new ocean. Advertising its purchase, Congress called the map "America's birth certificate"; Lester rates its importance much less narrowly.

The story behind the Waldseemuller world map of 1507, a thrilling saga of geographical and intellectual exploration ISBN: 9781416535317 (America, World Maps, Cartography, Voyages And Travels, Discoveries In Geography). Other Products from hartmannbooks (View All). Davis, Marion Quinlan. Mother's Guide . hartmannbooks.

It's the map of the world they have in their minds. Intellectual ingenuity meets swashbuckling audacity, until at last a picture emerges of the earth as we know it today. A barbarian's map marks the spot of just a few things: herds of sheep to steal, convenience stores to rob, political opponents to condemn on talk radio or the internet. A civilized person tries to see the world as a whole. The Fourth Part of the Worldreminds us that our maps aren't just about where we are - they're also a record of every place we've ever been.

As an avid antique map collector for the past 15 years, I was aware of this text through my obscure cartographic circles. But this book should not be considered an esoteric text on a singular document, the Waldseemuller map. Yes, the Waldseemuller map printed in 1507, but thought lost for 400 years and existing today in only a single copy found in 1901, is the centerpiece of this story. It is the map that gave the name America to the newly discovered lands, and is considered America's birth certificate.
How the map came to be is an epic tale that spans centuries and civilizations. Toby Lester is a detective that leaves no trail unexamined, and has found as many avid antique map collectors have, that when you examine one map you find a trail of bread crumbs that must be consumed.
This delightful tale of discovery and voyage, religion and humanism, is tremendously delightful. The reader will learn what many cartophiles already know. To paraphrase the History of Cartography Project: A map is a metaphor for science and knowledge, for trade and commerce, for colonial and religious expansion. All those stories and more are found in a map, and all those stories are told well by Toby Lester in "The Fourth Part of the World."

As some of the other reviewers have noted, this is much more than the tale of how a pathbreaking map of the world got drawn, published and circulated.It does tell that fascinating bit very well,however. But for me the book provided a portal into the opening decades of the discovery of the transatlantic world and how the ancient lore from Herodotus to Ptolemy got transformed, yet how some old myths endured.

I have always been fascinated with the "imaginary voyage" vogue. If you've ever read and enjoyed, as I have, Babcock's classic "Legendary Islands of the Atlantic" or Johnson's equally fascinating "PHantom Islands of the Atlantic" then this book will be your cup of tea. It describes the intersection of navigational and cartographical science with enduring myths of creation and cosmology.

I am reading the book for the second time, and still find overlooked nuggets of revelation.

If you only read one book on the Age of Exploration and Discovery, this should be it. It is a virtual encyclopedia of the topic, but reads like a novel.

This book, an historical adventure story, is about a 1507 map that had been lost for centuries, and about how America got its name, but more importantly it is about human progress and the unending quest to discover who we are, how we got here, and where we fit into the grand scheme of things. We learn how the stories of Prester John, Genghis Khan, Copernicus, Marco Polo, the Medici, Ptolemy, Columbus, Vespucci, and many more have combined to advance mankinds knowledge and progress.

This book gives the reader great insight into the minds of educated people during the middle ages and the Renaissance. We learn of their fears, ignorance, superstitions, hopes, and ambitions. We learn of mankinds slow but steady progress through the centuries in learning about ourselves, our environment and our limitations.

This is a gem of a book and the impressive product of an enormous amount of research. If you enjoy history and adventure you will enjoy this book.

Highly recommended.

This is a very interesting book. It is really detailed and sometimes a bit too much so for the casual reader. It begins with how a particular map came into existence, but then that particular map does not get discussed until well past the half-way mark. However, it's got a lot of information on western geographic development. I was disappointed that there was no mention of the great Chinese admiral of the Ming dynasty, Zheng He, who was sailing great distances well before Columbus.

Simon Winchester's review above does not give this book justice, although I must say that Lester's ability to spin a great story around an arcane subject may rival Winchester's. To me this book is about so much more than the naming of America on a map - it is really about the process of discovery and enlightenment and the pitfalls and pratfalls along the way. I ordered the book in an attempt to research an even more arcane issue I did not find in the book, but was immediately captivated by the exposition, and set my current book aside to read this to completion.

The title of the book could maybe not be more cryptic or off-putting, but don't let that deter you. The Fourth Part of the World refers to the somewhat mythical, yet actual undiscovered lands (after Asia, Europe and Africa) described by the ancients which we know now as America. Lester spins an exhaustively researched yet page-turning story of how this mythical land was gradually given substance and shape by explorers and cartographers. That the mapmakers at the center of the story write "America" on their map is almost incidental to the story. The great story, which Lester tells so wonderfully well, is how incredibly important world maps effected the philosophy of the day. Lester makes the case that it was this map that caused Copernicus to form his theory of the Universe, which if true, is far more significant than simply naming America.

For the average reader like me, this book will fill in a lot of the gaps in your learning about the age of exploration, and possibly give insight to the shortfalls and missteps we continue to repeat while exploring new domains without the proper "map".

"The Fourth Part of the World" is truly not an arcane subject, and it's a wonderful read.

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