Tuesday, July 29, 2008

In 1492...

So this major history buff I know lent me A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World by Tony Horwitz after he told me how awesome it was. After he kept filling me in on details about my parents' country I realized, "Damn, I don't know a thing about DR." Not only that, but I don't know much about American history either. I'm thinking it has something to do with the fact that those classes were a total bore to me.

Well the premise of the book is this: the author realizes that after years of schooling and even majoring in history, he doesnt have much knowlegdge of what happened between the year Columbus sailed the ocean blue and when the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. And the bit he does know, has been completely skewed and biased. So he tries to put the pieces together while traveling to those places mentioned in the history books. Starting with the Vikings and ending with the...well...I'm not there yet, but I'm guessing Europeans taking over America is in there somewhere.

So far I've concluded that Columbus was a bastard who set the coarse for the abuse inflicted on the Native Americans even though the man never set foot on what would later become U.S. soil.

So if you don't want to go through life being a total moron, pick this one up. He's actually really funny. Case in point: right now Horwitz has just arrived in Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana (the first European city in the New World) and has just learned that ahorita, "when use in the D.R., means roughly, 'between now and never.'" So true.


  1. Yup! LOL, like Heidi, when are you going to do xyz? Ahorita. lol.

    And yes Columbus was not a nice fellow, mr. discover something that was already in existance.

    How can you discover what already exists??? That boggles my mind.

  2. The man didn't even know where he was! Every time he landed somewhere he thought he was in a completely different place. Oh and lets not forget the exploitation of both land and people once he arrived there.

    Right now, Horwitz is visiting the shame known as El Faro a Colon, which allegedly holds the remains of the great discoverer. Not only can the country not afford to light the lighthouse, but people aren't even sure if those are Columbus' actual bones. And of course DR refuses to let anyone give the remains a DNA test. That would be quite the embarrassment after Balaguer spent so much of the country's money on that monument.

  3. Whatever, el estupido de Colon. Yuck!!!!

  4. And then there was dear old Amerigo Vespucci who often embellished and made-up tales of what he saw during his travels for self-promotion. Yet he was the one rewarded with two continents baring his name.

    Was there no fact-checking back in the day?!

  5. Liars and slave owners the whole bunch of them.

  6. 80 Billion Indians were killed. I learned like 2 years ago at some stupid workshop. We all got that questions wrong....who woulda thought.

  7. And where exactly did they get that number from? Because now whenever people throw stats and numbers around I automatically think, "Oh yeah? Where'd you get that info from?"

  8. A workshop at CCNY. We were studying for the LSAT exam ... that was a practice question.

  9. Correction LAST exam...


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