Grandpa Kewl

Book Review – Tony Horwitz, “A Voyage Long And Strange”

My copy was signed by the author at the Alla Bookstore in Santa Fe 5/30/2008.

Basically a kind of travelogue written by an historian who woke up one day and realized that he knew nothing of history in the Western hemisphere between Columbus (1492) and the Pilgrims (1620). Recommended to me by the proprietor (Jim) of the Alla Bookstore in Santa Fe. Best bookstore I’ve ever been in. I usually let him choose a box of books every time I visit.

The author travels some of the paths taken by the early explorers, from Haiti to Texas, looking for evidence of the past and folks opinions related to the persons and events. Was a bit put off by the approach until he wrote about visiting some of the same places that I have been: Newfoundland, Jamestown, the Outer Banks, And New Mexico. His experiences along a very isolated highway in Newfoundland were a kick. Not too many of us out here have driven that road. We had a “close encounter” with a bear there…  From Jim’s past recommendations, I have read extensively of the same time period. Odd to know more than the History Professor…LOL.

I picked up a couple references to other books that I may run down some time…related to the Viking explorations and epics. Also a first-hand account written by one of the men who accompanied Coronado on is trek thru the Southwest. I have visited the Coronado monument in New Mexico.

“Rediscovering the New World”

A variety of stories relating to the discovery of the North America. SOme interesting things I did not know. A good read.

Some notes I made:

P 12 – Several books to track down & read. “The Saga of the Greenlanders” in particular.

P 39 – Speaking of wisdom…”I pick up pebbles wherever I find them…”

P 197 – An account by Pedro de Castanada…to be found

P 299 – The English settlement & Commerce

One final item and perhaps the best of all – references to the approach taken by the British when they started their colonial efforts. Might seem strange, but if you want to understand the nature of the Middle East and the sources of its troubles, you have to travel back a long time in history, at least to the American Revolution. Now I understand a bit more and the time scale moves back some more. That’s a subject for another time.

Interesting book but not high on my recommended list.

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