1421: The Year China Discovered America

1421 coverBy Gavin Menzies (Harper Perennial 2004)

Review by Craig Dietrich

CAFAM members may know that for several years a book by Gavin Menzies, 1421: The Year China Discovered America , has been causing controversy. On January 19, 2003, Ed Gargan reviewed the book in Newsday. Here are a few paragraphs:

Gavin Menzies, a former British Navy submariner turned amateur historian…is convinced that fleets of Chinese ships [separated from one of Zheng He’s famous naval expeditions and] crossed both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Americas, that their crews established colonies here, erected lighthouses, built factories, swam in the Caribbean and captured long-extinct animals, all in the year 1421. Wonderful stuff, except it never happened. More

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