Author:Menlove, Leia
Position:Book review

Thomas (author); 1616; Counterpoint Press (Nonfiction: History, Nonfiction: History) $35.00 ISBN: 9781582437743

Byline: Leia Menlove

Thomas Christensen is no slouch when it comes to writing page-turning nonfiction. Among his previous books are The Discovery of America and Other Myths and The U.S.-Mexican War. In handling his weighty subject matter, Christensen avoids modern man's typical perceptions about historic events.

His most recent book offers another fresh, deeply researched and thoughtfully composed window back in time. While his focus is on a single year that has not been widely recognized as one of upheaval and change, he aptly demonstrates just how significant 1616 was to art, culture, trade, sexual roles, and a whole lot more on a global scale. Using that year as "a base that helps to keep those travels grounded," Christensen plunges into a world of dawning modernity.

A full list of the goings-on in 1616 would fill this review. They include the colonization of the Americas and international trade wars, arc between courtesans in Italy to Japan's pleasure districts, then leap from Pocahontas to Johannes Kepler, from ruler to revolutionary, midwife to Mughal, and female writer to female soldier. This book takes it all in.

Such a method for surveying world history surely...

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