And speaking of road trips on the grand scale…

August 29, 2014

In Round About the Earth: Circumnavigation from Magellan to Orbit, historian Joyce E. Chaplin describes around-the-world voyages as geodramas in which travelers present themselves as actors on a global stage–a metaphor that she extends by dividing her history of circumnavigation into three “acts”. Chaplin begins with the fearful sea voyages of early modern man, when […]

Read the full article →

Holiday Rerun: The Other First Thanksgiving

November 28, 2013

Unless you live in the American Southwest, the grade school version of American history* typically leaps from Columbus and 1492 straight to 1620, when the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts. There is a vague awareness that the Spanish and the French were “out there” doing something, but the story focuses on the development of the thirteen […]

Read the full article →

A Interview with Steve Kemper About A Labyrinth of Kingdoms

July 3, 2012

Sometimes a book grabs you by the throat and won’t let you put it down. I recently experienced that with Steve Kemper’s A Labyrinth of KIngdoms: 10,000 Miles Through Islamic Africa. I got so wrapped up in the story that I broke my long-standing rule about traveling with hardcover books because I wanted to finish […]

Read the full article →

Prince Henry, the So-Called Navigator

March 7, 2012

I’ve been thinking about Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal today, and re-reading bits of Peter Russell’s excellent biography,  Prince Henry “the Navigator”: A Life You remember Prince Henry.  He’s the first in a series of names that you learned in grade school:  Prince Henry the Navigator, Columbus, Dias, Magellan–maybe Henry Hudson if your teacher […]

Read the full article →