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High adventure and grand history from a master of the craft in a beautifully illustrated volume. With characteristic flair, Felipe Fernández-Armesto gives us an entertaining and insightful history of world exploration. Presenting the subject for the first time on a truly global scale, Fernández-Armesto tracks the pathfinders who, over the last five millennia, lay down the routes of contact that have drawn together the farthest reaches of the world. From the maritime expeditions connecting Queen Hatshepsut's Egypt to the exotic land of Punt in the second millennium BCE, through the merchants and missionaries of the ancient Silk Roads and the great Iberian explorers of the fifteenth century, to the nineteenth-century explorations of the polar regions, interior Africa, North America, and the South Pacific, Fernández-Armesto spins a grand narrative full of character and story. Deftly embedding these explorations in the cultures, politics, and technologies of their times, he creates a history with unusual depth and breadth. Here is an intellectual adventure as rewarding as it is thrilling. 16 pages of color; 48 maps; 44 illustrations.