Beyond the Blue Horizon by Brian Fagan

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In Beyond the Blue Horizon, bestselling science historian Brian Fagan tackles his richest topic yet: the enduring mystery of the oceans, the planet's most forbidding terrain.This is not a tale of Columbus or Hudson, but of much earlier mariners. From the moment when ancient Polynesians first dared to sail beyond the horizon, Fagan vividly explains how our mastery of the oceans has changed history, even before history was written. Beyond the Blue Horizon delves into the very beginnings of humanity's long and intimate relationship with the sea. It willl enthrall readers who enjoyed Longitude, Simon Winchester's Atlantic, or in its scope and its insightful linking of technology and culture, Guns, Germs, and Steel.

What drove humans to risk their lives on open water? How did early sailors unlock the secrets of winds, tides, and the stars they steered by? What were the earliest ocean crossings like? With compelling detail, Brian Fagan reveals how seafaring evolved so that the vast realms of the sea gods were transformed from barriers into highways that hummed with commerce. Indeed, for most of human history, oceans have been the most vital connectors of far-flung societies.

From bamboo rafts in the Java Sea to the caravels of the Age of Discovery, from Easter Island to Crete, Brian Fagan crafts a captivating narrative of humanity's urge to seek out distant shores, of the daring men and women who did so, and of the mark they have left on civilization.

About Brian Fagan

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Brian Fagan is emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Beyond the Blue Horizon, Elixir, the Los Angeles Times bestseller Cro-Magnon, and the New York Times bestseller The Great Warming, and many other books. He has decades of experience at sea and is the author of several titles for sailors, including the widely praised Cruising Guide to Central and Southern California. He lives in Santa Barbara, California.
Published July 3, 2012 by Bloomsbury Press. 336 pages
Genres: History, War, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Beyond the Blue Horizon

The Guardian

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From the prehistoric crossing to Australia via the first flushing loos in Crete, two compelling books examine man's waterlogged history, writes Robin McKie

Sep 29 2012 | Read Full Review of Beyond the Blue Horizon

The Telegraph

Brian Fagan’s stated aim to discover how and why the earliest seafarers set sail out of sight of land to seek distant shores is ambitious in the extreme.

Jul 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Beyond the Blue Horizon

The Telegraph

It might cover two-thirds of our world, but we barely see the sea.

Aug 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Beyond the Blue Horizon

Washington Independent Review of Books

Archaeologist and historian Brian Fagan investigates why and how it came to be that humans stepped off shore and took to the waters of our planet.

Jul 31 2012 | Read Full Review of Beyond the Blue Horizon

Historical Novel Society

He explains it means “‘venture,’ a word that implies a strong element of risk, and the fear and excitement of facing the unknown and unpredictable.” Fagan relates it to “the profound, restless curiosity” that beckoned so many to explore the open water, “no place for the ordinary traveler.” He fo...

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Literary Review

Over five main sections that take in the movement of peoples across South Asia and Oceania, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, and the North Atlantic and Aleutian Islands, Fagan interweaves personal anecdotes from a life spent sailing around the world with summaries of the leading archaeologica...

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