European explorers in the late 15th century had a significant focus: traversing the mysterious body of land we now call North America. Whether to seek untold riches or to set up colonies, spread the word of God or seek new botanical and animal species, each of these intrepid explorers added a piece of the puzzle to our geographical knowledge. This book, using maps and dozens of illustrations, shows how geographical myths came to be exposed, and how the landscape of this continent was fully revealed. The timeline spans centuries, and the stories are all compelling — in addition to explaining the geography, the book also describes the political and social ramifications of each discovery, creating a truly fascinating story not only of our land, but of how it interacted with the disparate elements that shaped our history.
Geographer Hayes, author of the spectacularly produced Historical Atlas of the Pacific Northwest and Historical Atlas of the Arctic, here chronicles the discovery and exploration of North America. The narrative text of this handsome volume provides the historical context for 280 carefully selected maps from North American and European collections, faithfully reproduced in full color and ranging in date from the early 16th century to several computer-generated images from the late 20th century. The infamous Vinland Map with a purported date of 1440, is included with the caveat that most scholars consider it to be fake. In addition to extensive captions, all maps are listed in the "Map Catalog," with their sources and accession numbers when applicable. Bottom Line As always, Hayes has chosen maps that fascinate the intellect as well as please the eye. He is particularly fortunate in having a publisher who clearly wanted to produce a book of the highest quality. Highly recommended for all public and academic libraries.-Edward K. Werner, St. Lucie Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Pierce, FL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.