John Reader's Africa: A Biography of the Continent PDF

By John Reader

Drawing on decades of African event, John Reader has written a e-book of startling grandeur and scope that recreates the good landscape of African historical past, from the primeval cataclysms that shaped the continent to the political upheavals dealing with a lot of the continent at the present time. Reader tells the extreme tale of humankind's variation to the ferocious hindrances of wooded area, river and desolate tract, and to the specter of debilitating parasites, micro organism and viruses unrivaled in other places on the planet. He additionally indicates how the world's richest collection of animals and crops has helped - or hindered - human development in Africa.

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Extra resources for Africa: A Biography of the Continent

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He had wondered—and, looking for an answer, he had joined Zheng He’s fourth expedition in 1413 as a translator. He subsequently joined the fifth and seventh 48 T H E F IR ST OCEA N SA ILOR S TO 145 0 expeditions, in which he expanded his observations of the lands he had visited before. His accounts are strictly factual—no monsters or legendary characters make an appearance—and he is rarely judgmental, noting in detail the goods traded in each country, and the appearance and customs of the people at each port of call.

Over the winter, Thorfinn’s followers became fractious and in the spring, Thorfinn decided to leave, as the threat of war with the Skrellings was looming constantly over them. A few years later, Freydis mounted another expedition to Vinland with her own ship and another commanded by the brothers Helgi and Finnbogi. There was dissension as winter set in, and Freydis’s men captured the brothers’ party while they slept. They killed the men but refused to execute the women, until Freydis took up an axe and carried out the deed herself.

Each could be set at a slightly different angle than the one below, which was needed when the wind was stronger higher up. In good wind the ships could travel 346 miles (557 km) in two and a half days: an average of 138 miles (222 km) per day, or around 6 knots. CHINESE TREASURE SHIP The design of junks such as this one changed very little over 500 years or so, and showed minimal influence from Europe. Zheng He’s fleet contained some of the largest junks of its era, recorded as being over 330 ft (100 m) long.

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Africa: A Biography of the Continent by John Reader

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