A Voyage Long And Strange : On The Trail Of Vikings, Lost Colonists

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In the opening pages of A Voyage Long and Strange: On the Trail of Vikings, Lost Colonists, and Other Adventurers in Early America, the author, Tony Horwitz, conveys: What would it be like to explore this New World, not only in books but on the ground? To take a pilgrimage through early America that ended at Plymouth Rock instead of beginning there? To make landfall where the first Europeans had, meet the Naturals, mine the past, and map its memory in the present? To rediscover my native land, the U.S. continent? In an attempt to answer these questions, Horwitz embarks on a voyage. As he retraces the footsteps of the early European explorers and settlers, he was surprised to disclose how much history Americans have forgotten, bowdlerized, and commercialized. In Part II of Horwitz’s book, he focuses on the European explorers as they travelled through the Gulf Coast, the Southwest, the South, and the Mississippi regions of the United States. I found Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca’s personal story quite interesting, “Between 1528 and 1536, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca took a cross-country trek that made Lewis and Clark’s expedition, three centuries later, look like a Cub Scout outing by comparison.” He, like many of the other early European explorers, ventured to the New World in search of gold and glory. His efforts proved to be unsuccessful, as numerous obstacles stood in his way. Threats for survival, including the warm climate, the landscape, and shortage of food greatly

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