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

3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  115 ratings  ·  41 reviews
A groundbreaking new book that upends our understanding of ancient America

Conventional history tells us humans migrated on foot across present-day Alaska, populating the Americas far later than other continents.

However, emerging new evidence suggests seafarers reached the continents thousands of years earlier and developed far more sophisticated civilizations than previous...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by William Morrow
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Jessica Torres
I found this book after a curiosity with DNA research led me to it. I'm also a biologist and after having my own DNA run and discovering a huge percentage of what is called "Asian/Native American Admixture" I had to do more research. I'm Puerto rican and I knew I was part Native American but Asian??? The black/white xtian thing is so dominant here in the US conversation that we just ignore anything that doesn't fit our stupid idea of MURICA. I remember never liking history as a kid. It was blata...more
Scott Hamilton
The thing that strikes me most about this book is how far out of control Menzies' ego has gotten. Let me give a couple of examples.

At the beginning to the book Menzies claims that he tried to make a crossing of the Bering Sea, to prove whether or not the ancestors of the Native American could have done the same. He fails, and therefore states no one else could. Imagine the hubris, first just to assume that he's personally the yardstick of human accomplishment, and secondly that he didn't bother...more
Gerald Matzke
This book presented information that was new to me. This is a genre that I don't generally read but I was fascinated by the title and as a result I enjoyed the book. Parts of it were slow reading especially when the author presented many examples that drew the same conclusion. The evidence was convincing that Columbus was by far not the first person to land in the Americas. He wasn't even close to being the first. DNA evidence can not be dismissed. As the author states in his conclusion, there i...more
I finished this mainly as an object lesson to be more careful in the books I choose. To put it simply, Menzies maintains that the Americas were settled by sea by the Chinese (and as almost an afterthought at the very end, by the Mionians). The sad thing about it is that there are probably some truths hidden in the book, but they are so overshadowed by fuzzy logic that it's hard to take much of it seriously. I find his writing and thought patterns more like Von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods than...more
Lisa Llamrei
This is an expansion of Menzies' theory first presented in "1421: The Year China Discovered the World" that the Chinese arrived in North America prior to Columbus. In "Who Discovered America?" he goes further by positing that the Chinese, and Europeans (specifically, the Minoans) made repeated voyages to the Americas for a period of thousands of years and became the Native Americans.

The evidence presented is compelling: DNA, language similarities, the presence of non-indigenous flora and fauna e...more
Susan Olesen
Holy crow. Ever read a book that makes you feel like you woke up on an alien world, that everything you were ever told about history was wrong?

That's this book.

Even if the author's exact conclusions are off, the evidence that his generalizations are correct is overwhelming, and ignored by mainstream history. There is overwhelming evidence that Asian peoples were routinely coming to the Americas by boat, long before the Europeans - making it as far as Nova Scotia - *which the Europeans acknowled...more
This is absolutely fascinating. The premise of "Who Discovered America" is that there have been many voyages to the Americas over not only centuries but millennia, by Mediterranean peoples but also, importantly, by the early Chinese, who not only left much evidence of their arrival & interaction with the native inhabitants but through intermarriage left their DNA, which Science can now verify.

This a clear & detailed study of Menzies' position that Admiral Zheng He took his massive fleet(...more
Clifford Parker
Really? I can buy into the basic premise, but this author feels like he must discredit other theories of human migration into the Americas in order for his to have primacy. It would be OK if he did so with evidence and reason, but he resorts to anecdotal stories and his own out-of-context experiences to claim other theories are wrong and assert his conjecture as the only way people came to this continent.

I could live with his ego-trip if he worked his evidence and theory in support of present f...more
David R.
I have read the complete set of Menzies' "Chinese navigators" books and this is by far the most ludicrous of the bunch. The book wobbles through varies "theories" of various peoplings, the most noteworthy being Peru and North Carolina(!) Menzies continues to display a penchant for devising a theory, seeking the data that fit it, making astonishing but unsupported claims, and disregarding perfectly good evidence that contradicts him, making him the 21st Century Erich von Daniken. His North Caroli...more
Menzies continues themes covered in his first three books: 1421:The Year China Discovered America; 1434: The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissnce; The Lost Empire of Atlantis: History's Greatest Mystery Revealed. This book, described as his swan song, attempts to summarize his arguments to date and add new material. His chief argument is that the Chinese found and populated the Americas long before the Europeans and that, indeed, the native population foun...more
The author isn't a scholar or specialist, but brings together evidence that contradicts the present academic storyline and so is usually ignored or dismissed out of hand. Always interesting, whether his own interpretations are correct or not, and makes you want to investigate further some of the sources he quotes. There's a great benefit to scholarship in having a popular author talk about evidence that academics otherwise refuse to deal with, because eventually they are forced to explain it cre...more
Kimberly Truesdale
I expected more from a book with a premise of historical research. But basically this turned out to be a travelogue with a lot of observations. While these observations are intriguing, there is little provided to make us confident of the author's assertions about the Chinese having discovered America. In fact, the constant repetition of "it is evident" followed by a major claim seemed heavy-handed and off-putting for this reader. Again, some very interesting ideas, but the style and execution me...more
Well as I just finished this book I will have to mention first the last thing I read that struck me upside the head. Gavin Menzies mentions everyone in a faith thus "Jains, Hindus, Jew, Christians, etc. followers of Islam." Okay what's with that? Are Muslims somehow not followers of Islam? Maybe it's picky, but it did strike me as odd and disjointed from the whole paragraph and sentence in the book. I am also curious by the lack of mention of the Beothuk in Novia Scotia/Newfoundland area, only t...more
Interesting topic but the text could have done with better editing. It would have been helpful too if there had been more maps/diagrams in the text about where was being discussed. Thankfully there is a reasonable good index.

I bought the book thinking I would send it to a friend in Brazil, who is interested in the populating of the Americas. But when I got to chapter five I realised I would be wasting my money doing that. In chapter five is a paragraph that says:

"(It must also be noted that a gr
Maryclaire Zampogna
Bye, bye Columbus and all the others. This book explains, who, how and why the explores came. The author refers to the DNA which doesn't lie, along with the flora, fauna and customs that are similar to the Chinese. There are similar words used by many countries. This book is real eye opener that I would read again for more knowledge of the people, their culture, and the early buildings including the pyramids. This a great read for any history buff.
This book was okay. The evidence was understandable, although to be honest, I don't know enough about anything to judge the validity of the DNA evidence or the botanical evidence. I decided to rename a shelf because of this book. I added it to historical BS. Not because I think this book was BS but because it felt like it should have been the basis for a fictional historical research thriller, with daring escapes and treacherous villains and a beautiful/handsome archaeologist, who is also a geni...more
Madeleine McLaughlin
More from Gavin Menzies about the Chinese coming to North America and South America in the past. It makes sense as the whole of Native populations came from Asia. This book focuses on settlements by 'pure' Chinese among Native populations. In fact, there's so much evidence to support him, it makes one wonder why we never knew they were here before. Great read.
Angela Kershner
Some of the authors' claims are rather convincing, others are questionable, still more seem to be complete nonsense. I may believe that the Chinese were a part of the peopling of the Americas, but I don't think they played quite as big a part as Menzies and Hudson make them out to be.
Take this book with a grain of salt, and remember: birds spread seeds too.
Good grief is this an amusing testimony of ego. He tosses out standard, accepted theories in under a sentence. Perhaps, just maybe, he has a point, but he sure isn't taking the standard route of convincing academics that his theory is valid. As a travelogue, this book is fabulous. As a history/science book, it is quite sketchy.
The promised follow up from his millennial 1421, this book outlines the extensive GENOME research and DNA mapping which has occurred since 1421 was published. If one believes that DNA analysis is a valid tool then there can be no denying the validity of Menzies' hypothesis. I gave three stars instead of four because of the authors tendency to bludgeon readers with his analysis; one is either believer or an idiot. Had I read this before 1421 I would have been put off by his arrogance. Still, Menz...more
Charles M.
Author continues his theories of the Chinese discovery of the Americas with further evidence. Not enough concentration on actual evidence, rather than on circumstances, etc.
RS Fuster
Raise my interest to do further reading on this subject. I also need to discuse history with Korean, Chinese and Japanese friends
A very intersting read. Even more intersting are the polar extremes amongst those submitting reviews. Menzies writing style can be off-putting. It's a book that wants to claim a research base but is not written in a scholarly style. It reads more as a summation of anecdotal evidence with factual bits added where available, than as a tightly written analysis setting forth facts with supporting data. This is not surprising given his background. Style aside, he tells a story that is convincing enou...more
Interesting, but hard to get past the pompous attitude of the author.
A story about the ego of the author
Stopped reading around page 180. Pure nonsense.
This book is terrible! It is like a list of notes and footnotes and constant referrals to past books this guy has written and his website. Don't waste your time.
Plot: A
Writing: D-
Vocabulary: C
Level: Difficult
Rating: PG (cannibalism, shipwrecks, excavation of graves)
Worldview: The Americas have been richly cultivated by Chinese & Minoan explorers-settlers for tens of thousands of years.
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Former British submarine commander and amateur historian.

Menzies is most known for his book "1421: The Year China Discovered the World" which claims that the Chinese admiral Zheng He discovered America in 1421.

In his follow up book "1434" He claims that the European Renaissance was sparked by the Chinese.
More about Gavin Menzies...
1421: The Year China Discovered America 1434 The Year a Magnificent Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance The Lost Empire of Atlantis: History's Greatest Mystery Revealed 1434 1434

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