Who Discovered America? The Untold History of the Peopling of the Americas

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Menzies is well known for his books 1421: The Year China Discovered America and 1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance. In his latest book, he continues his study of Chinese sea travel and builds on his earlier argument that the Chinese discovered the Americas long before Columbus. His research focuses on proving two points: one, that there is physical proof that the Chinese were in America prior to European explorers, and two, that the Chinese arrived by ships and not by crossing a land bridge as others have theorized. He supports these theories by examining maps, archeological evidence, and DNA.

About half of Menzies’ book is written as a personal travel narrative describing his journey as he attempts to retrace the routes of early explorers. His observations may be interesting but do not add anything toward proving his theory. More noteworthy is his presentation of scientific data that traces how plants and animals indigenous to Asia ended up in the Americas. Recommended to those interested in the Columbus debate.

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