THE LOST EMPIRE OF ATLANTIS by Gavin Menzies

THE LOST EMPIRE OF ATLANTIS

History's Greatest Mystery Revealed

KIRKUS REVIEW

The author of 1434 (2008) and 1421 (2003) argues that the destruction of Atlantis was not fiction but a tale of an actual volcano and consequent tsunami that devastated the heart of the vast Minoan empire on Crete and Santorini (then called Thera).

Employing the research of many scholars, the self-confidence of a rock star, the zeal of a True Believer and a travel budget sufficient to make Marco Polo and Henry Stanley glow an envious green, Menzies, who served in the Royal Navy, begins his tale on Crete, where he and his wife went for a brief vacation. When he saw the ruins of the palace of Phaestos, his curiosity about the Minoans was piqued, and off he went, chasing down Minoan artifacts, viewing ruins, interviewing scholars and visiting sites of significance, from Crete to England (did you know that Stonehenge was Minoan?) to Lake Superior to the Mississippi River (which the Minoans used to access their American mines) to, well, just about everywhere. Menzies claims that 2,000 years before Christ, the Minoans ruled a vast Bronze Age empire with myriad outposts. They were master shipbuilders, sailors, mathematicians, astronomers and navigators, and they gathered tin from England and copper from mines around Lake Superior, from which they crafted the bronze tools found later in many relevant sites. If Menzies is right—a massive IF that scholars will surely address—then the tsunami of 1500 BCE might have been the wave that drowned a culture, occasioned Plato’s story and spawned a giant Atlantis-related industry. The author’s style is breathless and excessively spiced with rhetorical questions, but—thank Zeus—he invokes no ancient astronauts.

Animated by a contagious enthusiasm that will propel eager, like-minded readers into a truly Lost World.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-204948-3
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2011




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