Rating: 4 out of 5
I really enjoyed this one; the scope was broad and the inclusive style of the author took in the whole world a lot better than I had expected. The chapters on the European — Portuguese, Dutch, English or French — navigators were also not as interesting as the additional sources who were drawn on to enlighten the reader on say Xuan Zang or the Japanese quest for Westernisation, though admittedly including the last was quite a weird move.
I also enjoyed the crossover with Alfred Lansing’s ‘Endurance’ which I read a short time ago — there was no doubt at any point, that Mr Shackleton and the ill-fated Imperial Transantarctic Expedition would be featured herein. What I was not so sure about was the tone with which the last chapters in space were described — so many of the books I have read recently seem to be jumping off to conclusions about things which have not yet happened, such as man’s future exploration in outer space without giving credence to the facts that are acting to limit this right now.
Overall, this was a very good overview of different peoples’ explorations as well as some of the greatest names who have worked to advance science, whether it be Humboldt, Cook or Pytheas.