Free Ebook Offer: The Story of America: Discovery - Article 2
Just think. If the Vikings had made just that little extra effort to stay on in America when they first arrived just over 1000 years ago then the modern history of not only North America but the whole continent might have started 500 years earlier in 992AD rather than 1492AD.
And that would have meant there would be an extra 500 years of this enthalling history to read; and an extra 500 years of the American dream to follow.
They couldn't have been too far from staying - after all they had already started permanent settlements on both Iceland and Greenland and surely North America must have seemed a pretty attractive proposition compared to either of those cold, inhospitable, barren lands.
Even their own records, their sagas, are full of vivid descriptions of the amazing landscapes across what is nowadays New England, with the sandy beaches, wooded hills and fast-flowing torrents; not to mention the plentiful supplies of salmon, game and wild grapes and the endless forests of timber. And don't forget these were the very same tough, formidable warriors who had already conquered much of England, Ireland and northern France. They were certainly no weaklings!
No, something must have put them off big time, because although both their sagas and modern archaeology confirm that they definitely DID reach North America, by 1002AD, a mere 10 years after their first sighting of the previously unknown land, they had loaded their longships with their possesions and livestock and headed back to Greenland for the last time.
Surely the distance didn't put them off, and the climate would have been much kinder than they were accustomed too in Greenland, Iceland or their native Scandinavia, and we know they had plenty of food and resources.
No, it must have been the Skraelings (the Viking name for the natives - meaning savages) who ended their dream. The very same AmerIndians who were to give the English settlers such a torrid time over 600 years later and who all but spelt the end of English colonization of North America too. It was the Skraelings who forced them to retreat and even put them off any further attempts to return to the great lands to the west.
The Vikings were just too few in numbers and too unprepared to tackle such a ferocious onslaught. They retreated wisely, reasoning that they would be better off as live Vikngs on freezing Greenland than dead Vikings in warm and pleasant America.
Things might have been different, but then..... .
This excerpt is from Discovery - The Story of America by Anthony Treasure. This book is already published in the UK (listed on Amazon.co.uk) and is due to be published in the US at a later date. For now it is published as an ebook and as a SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFER Discovery Part One is available to download COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE. Three further titles - Discovery Part Two, Colonization Part One and Colonization Part Two are also out as ebooks and can be bought and downloaded from the website. To claim your free ebook today simply visit www.farawaybooks.com">http://www.farawaybooks.com
Alan Brinkley, "one of the pre-eminent historians of his generation, with a specialty in 20th-century American political history," died June 16. He was 70. Brinkley's work "spanned the full spectrum of the last century's seminal events and influential characters, including the Great Depression and World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy."
Among the book world people who testified yesterday at a hearing before the U.S. International Trade Commission about proposed tariffs on Chinese goods was Jamie Fiocco, president of the American Booksellers Association and owner of Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, N.C. In her prepared remarks, she said in part:
"ABA understands the Administration's serious concerns with China's failure to protect intellectual property and the related issues of forced technology transfers that are being discussed here. However, ABA believes imposing tariffs on books is a clear reversal of decades of U.S. policy that exempts books and other written material from trade restrictions, and to make this change would undercut important American policy interests. In addition, imposing tariffs on books would seriously and disproportionately damage U.S. small and medium sized businesses, like my bookstore, and consumers.
"It is crucial to understand that even the most successful of independent bookstores operate on the thinnest of margins. And despite growth and success in recent years, bookselling is a highly volatile business. If prices increase due to an increase in tariffs, the negative impact on the fiscal health of the bookselling world--and on readers young and old--would be significant.
"Based on information from publishing colleagues, some 25% of books they publish are printed in China. And the great majority of children's books and texts such as Bibles are printed in China. Not only will the proposed tariff impact what books are available--and affordable--to young readers and their families, it will impact what makes my store, and other stores like mine, unique. In independent bookstores, sections are curated carefully by store owners to fit the needs of the communities in which the indie bookstore resides. Tariffs on book titles would impose significant and unwarranted roadblocks on creating a vibrant, diverse children's book section, for example. This unfortunate result would impact both my business and the young readers and families in my community in ways that will unquestioningly have long-ranging impact on future readers... continued
Darra Adam Khel, Pakistan — This tribal district, located about 85 miles west of Islamabad, is best known for its sprawling weapons bazaar. Walking through it, the sounds of workshop machinery and craftsmen striking hammers become a nearly musical backdrop.
A local book lover, Raj Muhammad, hopes it becomes known as the home of the Darra Adam Khel Library. Located near a gun shop that his father built 12 years ago, the library opened in August, and Muhammad considers it a labor of love as well as a message to the area and the wider world.
Scholastic will be publishing another novel in its mega-selling Hunger Games franchise. The trilogy by Suzanne Collins, which launched in 2008 with the titular title, has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.
The forthcoming work, currently known as "the untitled Panem novel" (referencing the fictional country where the series is set), is slated for May 19, 2020. Scholastic said the work will "revisit the world of Panem 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games, on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games."
The building that houses the Strand Bookstore at 826 Broadway was designated as a New York City landmark on Tuesday morning, following a contested process and fierce opposition from community members and the bookstore's owner.
"What they [the LPC commissioners] fail to acknowledge is that there are real-world costs associated with landmarking: those costs can affect jobs, those costs can affect union jobs, and those costs can affect businesses like the Strand," The Strand's lawyer, Alexander Urbelis, told Curbed following the vote. "We need a life raft, we don't need somebody to throw us a lead weight with a landmarking."
Elliott Management, the U.S. private equity company whose U.K. arm, Elliott Advisors, bought Waterstones last year, is buying Barnes & Noble, B&N announced this morning. Elliott is paying $6.50 a share--well above recent levels--in an all-cash transaction that places the company's value at $683 million.
The companies will be operated separately, but in a very positive move for the long-struggling chain, Waterstones CEO James Daunt, who led the turnaround of Waterstones, will be made CEO of B&N and be based in New York City. The companies said that under this arrangement, B&N and Waterstones will "benefit from the sharing of best practice between the companies.
Entertainment Weekly's print magazine, which has continued to provide substantive coverage of books and authors at a time when many other print magazines and newspapers have cut back, will become a monthly publication as of August.
Writing in Vox, Kelsey Piper looks at the growing concern about "books by prestigious and well-regarded researchers" which "go to print with glaring errors, which are only discovered when an expert in the field, or someone on Twitter, gets a glance at them."
She cites two examples:
In Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalization of Love, author Naomi Wolf's entire premise is based on a misunderstanding of the phrase "death recorded," which she took to mean that the person had been executed, but in fact means that the death penalty was deferred for their natural life.
And in Happy Every After, one of author Paul Dolan's central premises is that "Married people are happier than other population subgroups, but only when their spouse is in the room when they're asked how happy they are. When the spouse is not present: f***ing miserable..." This statement is based on a misunderstanding of the American Time Use Survey, a national survey available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics which defines "spouse absent" as no longer living in the household--which is very different to Dolan's interpretation of the spouse not present at the time of the interview!
American novelist Tayari Jones's portrait of a young African American's wrongful incarceration, and its devastating impact on his marriage has beaten two Booker prize winners to take the Women's prize for fiction.
Described by chair of judges Kate Williams as a book that "shines a light on today's America", Jones's fourth novel An American Marriage won the £30,000 award on Wednesday night....
... The Women's prize is the UK's only book award for fiction by women. Running for 24 years, it has been won by writers including Zadie Smith and Lionel Shriver.
People are fortunate if they have one great passion in life. Robert L. Bernstein, who died May 27, had three, starting with his family. He also had publishing. For a quarter century, he led Random House Inc., turning it into an enterprise as luminous as it was successful. In the mid-1980s, when Fortune magazine listed its "100 Best Companies in America to Work For," Random House was among them. And there was Bernstein's passion for human rights, starting with his support of individuals under KGB pressure, then moving on to do whatever was possible by peaceful means to protect whole societies from tyrants around the world.
Forty years ago, Bob cofounded Helsinki Watch (named after the signing place of a pact among 35 countries on a range of issues) to monitor the activities of dissidents such as Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union and Vaclav Havel in Czechoslovakia. In time, watch committees were added for the Americas, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the United States, women's rights, children's rights, LGBTQ rights, and others...