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Download The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map That Gave America Its Name Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map That Gave America Its Name, by Toby Lester Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (436 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Toby Lester Narrator: Peter Jay Fernandez Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2009 ISBN: 9781440775123
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Brimming with enthralling details and personalities, Toby Lester’s The Fourth Part of the World spotlights Martin Waldseemüller’s 1507 world map and recounts the epic tale of the mariners and scholars who facilitated this watershed of Western history.

Five hundred years ago, an obscure German scholar took a quantum leap in thought to design a groundbreaking map. It included such innovations as labeling a separate New World continent America and approximating the world as we know it today. Inherent in this magnificent masterpiece are clear echoes from the adventures of Marco Polo, the discoveries of Christopher Columbus, the explorations of Amerigo Vespucci, numerous Renaissance journeys, and much more.

Fully realized by Peter Jay Fernandez’s superb narration, this vivid account will help listeners appreciate why, in 2003, the Library of Congress paid $10 million for this antiquity and the authenticating documents found with it in 1901.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Marvelously imaginative, exhaustively researched…Guiding the reader Virgil-like through the Age of Discovery, Lester introduces a chronologically and conceptually vast array of Great Men (Columbus, Vespucci, Polo, Copernicus, et al.), competing theories, monastic sages, forgotten poets, opportunistic merchants, unfortunate slaves, and more. That he relates it all so cleanly and cogently—via elegant prose, relaxed erudition, measured pacing, and purposeful architecture—is a feat.”

    Atlantic

  • “An intellectual detective story. By using the [Waldseemüller] map as a lens through which to view a nexus of myth, imagination, technology, stupidity, and imperial ambition, Lester has penned a provocative, disarming testament to human ambition and ingenuity.”

    Boston Globe

  • “With the excitement and exhilaration of an explorer, Atlantic contributor Lester sets off on his own journey of discovery across the seas of cartography and history…Lester traces the map’s journey to America over the next century in a majestic tribute to a historic work.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “An omnivorous view of world history, geography, and discovery, The Fourth Part of the World introduces a diverse cast of characters: explorers, missionaries, rulers, mariners, merchants, scholars, poets, geographers, and mapmakers. The fitting conclusion of Lester’s epic journey through history is the tale of the map itself: a record of the past, a commentary on the present, and a dream of the future in a new understanding of the world.”

    Barnes & Noble

  • Selected for the November 2009 Indie Next List
  • Finalist for a Barnes & Noble Discover Award in 2010

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lana | 2/6/2014

    " Excellent, but long and dense and therefore, best read by Engineering and Cartography or History Geeks. I fit that charactrization so I enjoyed it. I recommended it to my boss and he didn't like it, but I heard him a week later talking to others about facts and interesting items he read in it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 2/4/2014

    " I loved this book. I'm not a big non fiction reader. This book was fascinating from the beginning. Ancient maps, how they were created, how America got it's name. It's all in here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alan | 11/26/2013

    " This is a deep and at times laborious book. I find it fascinating the level of scholarship that existed in the "dark ages". It's a thorough description of the early exploration around the world and the map making and documentation that was created and used as a result. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonathan Smith | 11/16/2013

    " Ultimately, I think there's only so much I can be made to care about maps. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob Gustafson | 11/5/2013

    " I enjoyed this book. It tells history in a pleasant-to-read way. The only shortcoming is that it became too long. The map that gave America its name was the Waldseemuller (with an umlaut over the o) map that was published 1520-ish. The author could have stopped the narrative, there. This book provoked me to read "The Travels of Sir John Mandeville" and led me to reassess the value of the world map we use today. It has other things for other readers. Enjoy! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Turi | 8/7/2013

    " The scope of this book was a lot broader than I expected. I thought it was going to be more about a specific map, but the story of the Waldseemuller map was really just a bookend to a pretty full history of cartography and exploration. Well researched and in-depth, possibly a little more so than I was looking for. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yvonne | 8/7/2013

    " Fascinating description of the development of geography/cosmography as it was then known, including how people of middle ages viewed the earth, the purpose of maps, and how the information from the age of discovery as well as ideas of latitude and longitude and mariner's maps was gradually incorporated into maps. Includes several nice illustrations of early maps. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 7/10/2013

    " wonderful book, if you like to go back in history and challenge your assumptions! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 7/1/2013

    " A surprisingly fascinating book on mapmakers and explorers and how the world was slowly pieced together. Had to read it with a world map next to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rps2 Seawright | 4/10/2013

    " "A great read for those who like history, biography. Dispelled a lot of 'flat-earth' myths that I believed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alisalias | 12/5/2012

    " It's a little slow in parts, but overall a good read with some fascinating maps. I was especially interested for how many years Europeans believed in the Dragon Tail, a fictional peninsula in Southeast Asia. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 bibliotekker | 10/28/2012

    " A good read. I know a lot more about the development of geographical knowledge in the West than I did before. It is filled with interesting vignettes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gray Buetzow | 4/22/2012

    " If you enjoy US History and geography, it's a great read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Earl | 12/30/2011

    " Aug 3,1492 Columbus first voyage. 3rd voyage May 30 1498 "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Camzcam | 12/2/2011

    " Interesting concept, a little bogged down in the middle...would love to read a book about the same subject written from an eastern perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brent | 11/5/2011

    " If you love maps, you'll love this non-fiction sleuth about the origins of a famous map... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick Finlay | 10/17/2011

    " For some reason, I really liked this book. Got me into non-fiction. Really informative and interesting; and it gives you an appreciation for some of the fucked up political nature of North America today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 2/9/2011

    " For some reason, I really liked this book. Got me into non-fiction. Really informative and interesting; and it gives you an appreciation for some of the fucked up political nature of North America today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 1/28/2011

    " A centuries long look at the changing understanding of the world and the expanding exploration that resulted, explained through an examination of the maps that have survived to today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arlen | 1/24/2011

    " I loved this book. I loved the interdisciplinary aspects of the history. I loved the deeply digging scholarship that went into both the history and the actual book itself. I'm grateful to the author for
    pulling all this together. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brent | 12/15/2010

    " If you love maps, you'll love this non-fiction sleuth about the origins of a famous map... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Earl | 9/12/2010

    " Aug 3,1492 Columbus first voyage. 3rd voyage May 30 1498 "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 9/8/2010

    " Interesting and well written story of the filling in of the global map from ptolemy to naming of America, the real story behind that name, and medieval geography. Deep and occasionally dense, but well worth it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rps2 | 8/26/2010

    " "A great read for those who like history, biography. Dispelled a lot of 'flat-earth' myths that I believed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eric | 8/17/2010

    " A bit of a slog to begin with, but some interesting stories about how America got the name America and the role of maps during the middle ages, through the re-discovery of the Americas.

    "

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