The Conquest by Man in 1955 brought myth and legend and archaeology and the dawn of historical record into a fascinatingly coordinated story of the early ventures into the unknown. The story carried through to the age of Columbus, where this volume picks up the threads. Perhaps because the material is more familiar, has been many times told, this lacks the sense of excitement and originality, but Herrman has a knack of selecting his material, of impressing and captivating his readers. This too will be surely popular -- though it is a less impressive achievement. Here are the great Spanish and Portuguese explorers, the voyages of Captain Cook, the heroic adventures in ""darkest Africa""- up to Stanley and Livingstone- not a comprehensive and exhaustive coverage but a generous slice of adventuring. The style is fluent though not prepossessing; sex and violence get their due share; Herrmann has a dramatic flair, a capacity smoothly and with startling speed to shift focus from the psychological state to the engulfing political forces of the times, to the circumstances of the weather, to the dangers of mutiny. He writes knowledgeably of everything touching upon the theme, ranging widely from such divergent topics as venereal disease, the tsetse fly, the meteorological phenomena or the mechanics of the earliest printing press. It is good entertainment for armchair explorers.