I know 1421 was trashed by historians and that it does have some serious gaps, but 1434 doesn’t seem to have as many problems. Whether a Chinese fleet brought the brilliant 1313 Chinese book, the Nong Shu, or it came from some other route, amateur sleuth Gavin Menzies seems to provide compelling evidence that China was the source for a number of important inventions credited to Da Vinci and some other Italians. Many controversial but exciting ideas in this work – including the whole concept of pre-Columbian transoceanic contact with the Americas (the theme of 1421 which remains highly controversial). Any of you familiar with 1434? Thoughts?
My biases for the Chinese people make the premise of the book difficult to resist. How ironic that the nation often faulted for copying from the West may have been the source for many of the breakthrough inventions that fueled the rise of the Renaissance.