Saturday, April 21, 2012

Gavin Menzies - '1421, The Year China Discovered America' is a work of fiction

I ran out of reading matter just before the Avurudu holidays. While desperately searching for something to read, I came across my brother's copy of 1421.  I had seen this before but never got around to picking it up.

I started reading it but found it a bit hard going. Not that it was difficult to read but it was a bit difficult to take in all that he was saying. Although no scholar, I am a keen student of history and I found the book problematic.  The author seems to keep jumping to conclusions or trying very hard to twist the facts to fit his idea. He never seems to consider alternative explanations for facts and the claims he makes get bigger and bigger.

This afternoon I did a bit of research on the book. Although based on some facts, many of its claims are fictitious. Dr Geoff Wade of the National University of Singapore believes this is a violation of the British Trade Descriptions Act of 1968. Having read his argument, I think he has a very important point. Libraries are the repositories of knowledge, publishers who misclassify books will mislead many and do great disservice to the furtherance of knowledge.

I had read about a third of the book when I came to write this, I'm not going to finish it.

Looks like I will have to find another book to keep me amused.


pp said...

i had been meaning to read this. now i shall just let it pass. thanks jp.

have you read gorillas in the mist? very interesting book.

Jack Point said...

Yes, there are better things to do with ones time. Gorilla's in the Mist sounds like the title of a rather cheesy horror film....just joking. Have not read it, thanks for suggesting will keep a look out for it.

pp said...

lol, yes it does, doesn't it. it's actually by dian fossey, on her experience of working with mountain gorillas in africa. very interesting, somewhat like the kenneth anderson (only she doesn't kill the animals, she tries to save them).

buddy2blogger said...

I have read the book 'The Gorillas in the Mist'. I liked it very much.

Check out my review .