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Sea People: In Search of the Ancient Navigators of the Pacific

Sea People: In Search of the Ancient Navigators of the Pacific
 

`Wonderfully researched and beautifully written' Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan `Succeeds in conjuring a lost world' Dava Sobel, author of Longitude

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ISBN 9780008339012
Barcode 9780008339012
Published 18 March 2019 by HarperCollins Publishers
Format Hardback
Alternate Format(s) View All (2 other possible title(s) available)
Author(s) By Thompson, Christina
Availability Indent title (internationally sourced), usually ships 4-6 weeks

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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780008339012
ISBN-10 0008339015
Stock Available
Status Indent title (internationally sourced), usually ships 4-6 weeks
Publisher HarperCollins Publishers
Imprint William Collins
Publication Date 18 March 2019
International Publication Date 21 March 2019
Publication Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Format Hardback
Author(s) By Thompson, Christina
Category Australasian & Pacific History
Geographical Discovery & Exploration
NZ, Maori & Pasifika
Maori
Pasifika
Polynesia
New Zealand & Related
Number of Pages 384
Dimensions Width: 159mm
Height: 240mm
Spine: 35mm
Weight 620g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
Library of Congress Polynesia - History, Polynesians - Biography
NBS Text Regional History
ONIX Text General/trade
Dewey Code 996.00922
Catalogue Code 968233

Description of this Book

`Wonderfully researched and beautifully written' Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan `Succeeds in conjuring a lost world' Dava Sobel, author of Longitude For more than a millennium, Polynesians have occupied the remotest islands in the Pacific Ocean, a vast triangle stretching from Hawaii to New Zealand to Easter Island. Until the arrival of European explorers they were the only people to have ever lived there. Both the most closely related and the most widely dispersed people in the world before the era of mass migration, Polynesians can trace their roots to a group of epic voyagers who ventured out into the unknown in one of the greatest adventures in human history. How did the earliest Polynesians find and colonise these far-flung islands? How did a people without writing or metal tools conquer the largest ocean in the world? This conundrum, which came to be known as the Problem of Polynesian Origins, emerged in the eighteenth century as one of the great geographical mysteries of mankind. For Christina Thompson, this mystery is personal: her Maori husband and their sons descend directly from these ancient navigators. In Sea People, Thompson explores the fascinating story of these ancestors, as well as those of the many sailors, linguists, archaeologists, folklorists, biologists and geographers who have puzzled over this history for three hundred years. A masterful mix of history, geography, anthropology, and the science of navigation, Sea People is a vivid tour of one of the most captivating regions in the world.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

NZ Review `I loved this book. I found Sea People the most intelligent, empathic, engaging, wide-ranging, informative, and authoritative treatment of Polynesian mysteries that I have ever read. Christina Thompson's gorgeous writing arises from a deep well of research and succeeds in conjuring a lost world' Dava Sobel, author of Longitude and The Glass Universe `To those of the western hemisphere, the Pacific represents a vast unknown, almost beyond our imagining; for its Polynesian island peoples, this fluid, shifting place is home. Christina Thompson's wonderfully researched and beautifully written narrative brings these two stories together, gloriously and excitingly. Filled with teeming grace and terrible power, her book is a vibrant and revealing new account of the watery part of our world' Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan `Who hasn't stayed up late reading South Sea tales? Christina Thompson's Sea People is a South Sea tale to top them all - the exploration and settlement of the vast Pacific Ocean by stone-age Polynesians - and every word is true. It's a compelling story, beautifully told, the best exploration narrative I've read in years' Richard Rhodes, author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb `The ten-million square miles known as Polynesia was the last area to be settled by humans and is still the least understood chapter in history. With a flair for making the past live again, Christina Thompson give us a comprehensive story of Polynesia and of those who have studied it. Sea People tells the story of a unique geographic, cultural, and intellectual voyage across water and through time. Essential reading for anyone seeking to understand Polynesia, the Pacific, or the spread of humanity around the globe' Jack Weatherford, author of Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
UK Review Bertrams Star Rating: 2 stars (out of 5)

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Author's Bio

Christina Thompson is the editor of Harvard Review and the author of Come On Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All: A New Zealand Story, which was shortlisted for the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-fiction and the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. A dual citizen of the US and Australia, she lives outside of Boston with her family.

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