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Download 1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample 1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance Audiobook, by Gavin Menzies Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (539 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gavin Menzies Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2014 ISBN: 9780062343673
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The brilliance of the Renaissance laid the foundation of the modern world. Textbooks tell us that it came about as a result of a rediscovery of the ideas and ideals of classical Greece and Rome. But now bestselling historian Gavin Menzies makes the startling argument that in the year 1434, China—then the world's most technologically advanced civilization—provided the spark that set the European Renaissance ablaze. From that date onward, Europeans embraced Chinese ideas, discoveries, and inventions, all of which form the basis of Western civilization today.

The New York Times bestselling author of 1421 combines a long-overdue historical reexamination with the excitement of an investigative adventure, bringing the reader aboard the remarkable Chinese fleet as it sails from China to Cairo and Florence, and then back across the world. Erudite and brilliantly reasoned, 1434 will change the way we see ourselves, our history, and our world.

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Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Hope | 2/16/2014

    " So there were some interesting bits. I enjoyed the first few pages, the last chapter, and some bits in the middle about DaVinchi. The rest was monotinous and slow and boring as all hell. The author kept telling the reader to visit his website for more information. It read more like a series of articles that should be in a magazine rather than a book. This tried to be many things, and got lost along the way. Just not my style of history book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil Terrana | 2/11/2014

    " I enjoyed it very much. The premise was that the Chinese were sailing around the world, had visited the Americas, and had detailed maps of the entire globe before Columbus set sail in 1492. In addition to this the book suggested that many of the diagrams drawn by Da Vinci that have established him as a great inventor wre drawn by earlier Europeans and also by the Chinese before them. 1434 is the year that a Chinese fleet sailed to Italy and brought with it maps, sailing knowledge, and scientific and engineering information that had a great influence that led to the period of European enlightenment referred to as the Renaissance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 2/10/2014

    " This history was very interesting and revealing. The scholarship was quite astonishing, but the book seemed a bit pedantic. It was great historical scholarship but a little intense for pleasure reading. Gavin Menzies' research should be incorporated into every world history and American history textbook. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill&Sue | 2/5/2014

    " better than the first one! math, art, inventions, astronomy... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Derek | 2/3/2014

    " Fascinating to read about the body of evidence which turns traditional understanding of world history during the Renaissance on its ear. The book is much more archaeological than a traditional history--that is, much more attention is given to the means by which the evidence of Menzies' contentions is gathered than in creating a historical narrative. But Menzies does a good job of making this as interesting as possible. And the circumstantial evidence that Menzies presents to support his claims--that China already had extensively explored the globe and had developed extensive trading networks on virtually every inhabited land; that there was already a great deal of interaction between China and the Mediterranean world, including a sizable Chinese population in the region; and that the "discoveries" and "inventions" of the Renaissance were largely the synthesis of Chinese knowledge given to Venice and Rome in 1434--is very extensive and compelling. I'm interested to go back and read the prior book 1421. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 1/27/2014

    " Great story, but too dry for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mauricio Garcia | 1/22/2014

    " Must read for anyone interested in real history. It is insightful. The author gives lots of proof of his own investigation which you can corroborate in museums around the world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Candace | 1/20/2014

    " So far? Totally weak. If you're interested, I'd rec 'The Island of Seven Cities' over Menzies' books, any day. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris The Story Reading Ape | 1/19/2014

    " Like 1421 this is a very enlightening book, the Chinese not only discovered America, the circumnavigated the world... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed bangs, jr | 12/9/2013

    " i'm astonished at how little coverage this & its companion book 1421 have gotten. Mr. Menzies presents a cogent, tight argument to support his thesis. I believe what he has said. The Chinese are truly amazing! I'd recommend them both. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 1/16/2013

    " Very good, but not nearly as interesting as the first book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jesus | 12/12/2012

    " Very weak in literary and in historical terms. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joe | 3/29/2012

    " This book was interesting but after reading 1421 I was overloaded with details. I had a hard time staying awake reading it. These two book make some things seem around the world make much more sense. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Todd | 2/28/2012

    " I could not finish this book. Menzies writes like an over enthusiastic amateur and his style grated on my nerves. It is rare that I don't finish a book. I was hoping for more... I guess that I should not have expected much from an author who claims that Atlantis existed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristina | 9/15/2010

    " Props to the Chinese for discovering everything. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jesus | 8/6/2010

    " Very weak in literary and in historical terms. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 7/13/2010

    " Very good, but not nearly as interesting as the first book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cyndee | 6/26/2010

    " might be controversial, but fascinating nonetheless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Josh | 5/13/2010

    " "It is time for an agonizing reappraisal of the Eurocentric view of history."

    Zheng-He kickstarted the Renaissance. "

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About the Author
Author Gavin Menzies

Gavin Menzies was born in 1937 and lived in China for two years before the Second World War. He joined the Royal Navy in 1953 and served in submarines from 1959 to 1970. In the course of researching 1421, he visited 120 countries, over 900 museums and libraries, and every major sea port of the late Middle Ages. He is married with two daughters and lives in North London.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with fifty-eight Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.