The Island of Seven Cities: Where the Chinese Settled When They Discovered North America Paperback – Mar 13 2007
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“If it is true, the find would rank among the greatest archeological discoveries of all time, [and] turn much of modern history upside down.”
“The book stands as a fascinating piece of historical detective work. Essential for readers of 1421, whatever their beliefs, and for lay readers in general.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
“Riveting, beautifully written, powerful and compelling.”
—Gavin Menzies, author of 1421: The Year China Discovered America
“Each of Chiasson’s discoveries is absurdly exciting.”
About the Author
Paul Chiasson is a Yale-educated architect whose expertise is the history and theory of religious architecture. He was born on Cape Breton Island and is a direct descendent of the Acadians who were among the first European settlers in the New World. He has taught at Yale, at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. and at the University of Toronto. Chiasson’s discovery of the remains of an ancient Chinese settlement on Cape Breton Island is a direct result of his ancestral interest in the island’s history and of his unique ability to understand the unusual architectural forms that the ruins represented – remains that had been previously misunderstood or overlooked.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
One may consider reading 1421 (Gavin Menzies) first, however if you read Seven Cities before 1421, you will be introduced to the general theory of it (Columbus did not "discover" America) through this book.
As Seven Cities includes a highly detailed history of the Cape Breton area, the work will also be very useful for anybody studying Nova Scotia or Maritimes history. A compelling read that may change your world view!
First of all, this is a story about a mystery. It's fun to read. It is wide ranging and provides some interesting looks into map making, history, cultures, and research.
It's worth noting that some of the criticism was written before the book was published. Now that's prejudging, or prejudice to phrase it another way.
Whether you agree with the author's conclusions, this book exposes something that is apparently on top of a mountain in Cape Breton, and doesn't seem to be covered in recorded history, like Anse aux meadows four decades ago.
He then makes the jump to the idea that it must have been Chinese explorers/settlers who did the work during the heyday of Ming China's voyages of discovery. (I suspect that those voyages were more about tribute gathering and trade than about discovery.) Anyone familiar with Menzies' book 1421 will know his theory of how the Chinese sent expeditions circling around the globe yet mysteriously somehow missing Europe(!).
I'm extremely skeptical about Chiasson's theory that it was the Chinese who built the platforms for a couple of reasons. First of all, there is very little reason that I could see as to why anyone would want to build a settlement on Cape Breton Island unless there was something very valuable there. As Chiasson says, there is coal and there is gold. Unfortunately for the theory, China has lots of coal so it would not be economically viable to transport it all the way back to China from CBI and the gold deposits were not enough to sustain later European ventures. Again, China has closer sources of gold at hand and, even if they were to send out fleets of gold miners, there are closer sources along the way to CBI such as South Africa, West Africa, and Central America.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I had fun reading this, but I also had fun reading up on the geology of the area, and the history of the stone patterns. Regard this as entertaining fiction.Published 19 months ago by Boad
This is just another amateur speculating without evidence from professional archaeologists. Stick to designing buildings, not history.Published on July 10 2014 by John L. Steckley
While this is an interesting concept it lacks authority and scientific robustness. The interesting feature of the book is the personal journey that Paul Chiasson has walked and the... Read morePublished on May 16 2014 by Virginia Petch
C'est malheureusement une pure oeuvre de fiction. Lorsqu'il cite correctement certains écrits ce sont des faux ou des légendes. Read morePublished on June 8 2011 by Yves Legault