By Tony Horwitz

ISBN-10: 0805076034

ISBN-13: 9780805076035

"What occurred in North the USA among Columbus's sail in 1492 and the Pilgrims' arrival in 1620?

On a trip to Plymouth Rock, Tony Horwitz realizes he does not have a clue, nor do so much american citizens. So he units off around the continent to rediscover the wild period while Europeans first roamed the hot international in the hunt for gold, glory, converts, and everlasting early life. Horwitz tells the tale of those courageous and infrequently crazed explorers whereas retracing their steps on his personal epic trek--an odyssey that takes him within an Indian sweat hotel in subarctic Canada, down the Mississippi in a canoe, on a highway journey fueled by means of buffalo meat, and into sixty kilos of armor as a conquistador reenactor in Florida.

A Voyage lengthy and unusual is a wealthy mixture of scholarship and modern day experience that brings the forgotten first bankruptcy of America's historical past vividly to life." (Google Books)

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In Vinland, a Viking is slain by a one-legged man-beast wielding a bow and arrow. “There was a man named Ulf,” one saga begins, “son of Bjalfi and of Hallbera, the daughter of Ulf the Fearless. ” Needless to say, such passages have cast doubt on the sagas’ reliability as historical sources. Adding to the doubt is the way sagas were transmitted. The Christian scribes who first recorded them, several centuries after the events they describe, thought little of massaging tales about their pagan forebears.

I loitered in the longhouse until the park closed. Bjorn stored the weapons and shoved his dragon-duck under a fur. “I’ll get the gas,” Bera said, reaching beneath a rock by the fire for the propane valve. We emerged from the longhouse into the low light of a Newfoundland evening. Even so, the world seemed startlingly bright after hours in the sod enclosure. I felt pleasantly disoriented, the way one does after stepping out of a movie theater in the afternoon. Bjorn smiled at me, familiar with the sensation.

After fifteen minutes of this, he and Bera lapsed out of period character. Bjorn, in real life, was a former fisherman named Mike who had worked at the park for six years. At one time, becoming a Viking had seemed the coming thing in Newfoundland’s depressed north, where the closing of the exhausted cod fishery in the 1990s threw thousands out of work. The government sponsored a program to retrain some of the unemployed as Norse reenactors, in hopes the thousandth anniversary of Leif’s sail, in 2000, would spark a surge in tourism.

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A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz


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