Thursday, July 24, 2008

Who knew?

I’ve been reading as usual, but most of my selections have been boring so I’m just flying through the books. But…one of the books I’m slowing down to truly enjoy is A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz. It’s a history book that fills in a lot of the historical gaps and also dismisses some of the fables that pass for history. (Ponce De Leon was never looking for a ‘fountain of youth’.) Mr. Horwitz explains that he graduated with a major in history, but he soon realized that quite a bit of history was missing from his education and so he wanders through America, Canada and the Caribbean as he discovers and tells of what happened in these places long before the Puritans left Holland and sailed for America. Who remembers that Coronado reached Kansas in 1542? But he did. And what about DeSoto marching through Georgia in 1540? It was just like Sherman, 300+ years later.

I’m a real fan of New Mexico and so I especially enjoyed the narratives that described the Spanish occupation of this fascinating state. I’ve said before that New Mexico is a place where you’re surrounded by history everywhere you go. And art of course.

The book proves that once again, the winners get to write the history...not necessarily the truth.

And go here for some more Voyage Long and Strange. Take the test!


  1. I'm fascinated by the parallel lines of history. Santa Fe was founded ten years before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.
    Los Angeles was an established city when Lewis and Clark set out on their expedition. The day Custer died at the Battle of the Little Big Horn the St Louis Cardinals (called Brownstockings then) were playing ball.

  2. I love Santa Fe!

    And I love's better than any detective novel could ever be.

  3. Anonymous4:56 PM

    The pilgrims would not have made it had not a significant number of Indians been wiped out due to plague like illness prior to their landing.
    That we Americans survived at all is astounding, having survived illness, accidents, insects, extreme weather, diseases, fires, wild animals, and wars.