I read the Gavin Menzies
a few years ago. It was very cool to see Western documentation about Chinese exploration of North America 71 years before the Columbus “discovered” America. Click here
to see a fascinating animated map of Admiral Zeng He's voyages that circumnavigated the world.
There are are “World Literature” courses that are Euro-centric and don't include Asia. Why shouldn't “World History” be Euro-centric as well. In the English speaking world, books written about North America by Chinese pioneers and explorers would have been written in Chinese.
Over the past few years, I have also watched the Cheuk Kwan's
film documentary series Chinese Restaurants
. Cheuk has travelled across the globe interviewing people who run Chinese restaurants. Along the way, he has also found not only the commonalities of Chinese restaurants and peoples across the world, but also the history of Chinese people. How can you explain that a highland tribe of Madagascar can claim Chinese ancestry or that the national soup of Madagascar is called soupe de la Chinoise
, and resembles Chinese won ton soup? Are these the decendants of Admiral Zeng He's shipwreck on Madagascar?
Check my 2005 review of his movie: http://www.gunghaggisfatchoy.com/blog/_archives/2005/5/2/643422.html
Did the Chinese beat Columbus to America? is an interesting internet article I discovered this morning featured on the Yahoo! website.