Marco Polo

Marco Polo

3.68 (1,394 ratings by Goodreads)
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As the most celebrated European to explore Asia, Marco Polo was the original global traveler and the earliest bridge between East and West. A universal icon of adventure and discovery, he has inspired six centuries of popular fascination and spurious mythology. Now, from the acclaimed author of Over the Edge of the World: MagellanÂs Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe (ÂSuperb . . . A first-rate historical page turnerÂÂThe New York Times)Âcomes the first fully authoritative biography of one of the most enchanting figures in world history. In this masterly work, Marco PoloÂs incredible odysseyÂalong the Silk Road and through all the fantastic circumstances of his lifeÂis chronicled in sumptuous and illuminating detail. We meet him as a callow young man, the scion of a wealthy Venetian merchant family, only seventeen when he sets out in 1271 with his father and uncle on their journey to Asia. We see him gain the confidence of Kublai Khan, the worldÂs most feared and powerful leader, and watch him become a trusted diplomat and intelligence agent in the rulerÂs inner circle. We are privy to his far-flung adventures on behalf of the Khan, living among the Mongols and other tribes, and traveling to magical cities, some far advanced over the West. We learn the customs of the KhanÂs court, both erotic and mercantile, and PoloÂs uncanny ability to adapt to them. We follow him on his journey back to Venice, laden with riches, the latest inventions, and twenty-four years worth of extraordinary tales. And we see his collaboration with the famed writer Rustichello of Pisa, who immediately saw in Polo the story of a lifetime; enlivened by his genius for observation, PoloÂs tales needed little embellishment. Recorded by Rustichello as the two languished as prisoners of war in a Genoese jail, the Travels would explode the notion of non-Europeans as untutored savages and stand as the definitive description of China until the nineteenth century. Drawing on original sources in more than half a dozen languages, and on his own travels along PoloÂs route in China and Mongolia, Bergreen explores the lingering controversies surrounding PoloÂs legend, settling age-old questions and testing others for significance. Synthesizing history, biography, and travelogue, this is the timely chronicle of a man who extended the boundaries of human knowledge and imagination. Destined to be the definitive account of its subject for decades to come, Marco Polo takes us on a journey to the limits of historyÂand more

Product details

  • Hardback | 415 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 38.1mm | 793.78g
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Random House Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 140004345X
  • 9781400043453
  • 1,084,492

Review quote

"As enthralling as a rollicking travel journal." -- New York Times Book Review "With his polished, authoritative storytelling, Bergreen makes the world of Marco Polo very pertinent."--Entertainment Weekly "Mesmerizing . . . This is lively history that is richly detailed and destined to be the definitive account of Marco Polo and his adventures for decades to come." --Tucson Citizen "Illuminating . . . A window into the most exotic of places and times." --St. Petersburg Times "Fascinating . . . A constant surprise and delight." --The Plain Dealer "[An] exciting reconstruction of the extraordinary life of Marco Polo . . . impressively researched and deftly composed." --Booklist "This is an enthusiastic retelling of Marco Polo's timeless story. Laurence Bergreen draws from a broad range of the surviving Polo manuscripts to create a convincing portrait of how Marco was able to get to thirteenth century China, and of what he saw, felt and did when he got there. Readers unfamiliar with Polo's adventures will find much pleasure here." --Jonathan Spence, author of Emperor of China "At last! Marco Polo comes to life! Laurence Bergreen, perhaps America's liveliest biographer, has created a triumph of fascinations, a classic portrait that now surely can never be bettered." --Simon Winchester, author of The Map That Changed the Worldshow more

About Laurence Bergreen

Laurence Bergreen is the prize-winning author of Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe, as well as James Agee: A Life; Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life; Capone: The Man and the Era; and As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin, each considered the definitive work on its subject. A graduate of Harvard University, he lives in New York City. As part of the research for this book, he traveled Marco Polo's route across Mongolia and more

Rating details

1,394 ratings
3.68 out of 5 stars
5 21% (299)
4 37% (513)
3 32% (451)
2 8% (111)
1 1% (20)
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