1616: Book summary and reviews of 1616 by Thomas Christensen

1616

The World in Motion

by Thomas Christensen

1616 by Thomas Christensen X
1616 by Thomas Christensen
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Book Summary

The world of 1616 was a world of motion. Enormous galleons carrying silk and silver across the Pacific created the first true global economy, and the first international megacorporations were emerging as economic powers. In Europe, the deaths of Shakespeare and Cervantes marked the end of an era in literature, as the spirit of the Renaissance was giving way to new attitudes that would lead to the age of revolutions.

Great changes were also taking place in East Asia, where the last native Chinese dynasty was entering its final years and Japan was beginning its long period of warrior rule. Artists there, as in many parts of the world, were rethinking their connections to ancient traditions and experimenting with new directions.

Women everywhere were redefining their roles in family and society. Slave trading was relocating large numbers of people, while others were migrating in search of new opportunities. The first tourists, traveling not for trade or exploration but for personal fulfillment, were exploring this new globalized world.

Thomas Christensen illuminates this extravagant age by focusing on a single riotous year. Woven with color images and artwork from the period, 1616 tells the surprising tales of the men and women who set the world on its tumultuous course toward modernity.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Careful to include events from around the world, not just Europe and the Americas, Christensen enhances his excellent explications of backgrounds and settings with dozens of fabulous illustrations. Most readers will want an atlas to track the action in 1616's 'world in motion.'" - Publishers Weekly

"Well-researched and entertaining." - Kirkus Reviews

"With its stories of restless spirits and restless feet and its truly amazing images from Japan to Persia to Rome, this book will surprise and delight every reader and provide new insights into an interactive early modern world." - John E. Wills, Jr., author of 1688: A Global History

"A brimmingly generous intellectual feast, lavishly curated by Mr. Christensen - on every page a fresh marvel - the catalog, as it were, of a show just asking to be mounted, and the Show of the Year at that." - Lawrence Weschler

"With a masterful command of facts and data, he ties together events in a brisk narrative, revealing a world 'in motion', vibrant with remarkable solutions, activities, and individuals. He shows how separate threads affected one another, transformed discourse, and contributed to development of a truly global culture fully four centuries ago." - Emily Sano, director emeritus, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

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Author Information

Thomas Christensen

Thomas Christensen is known as a publisher, editor, and graphic designer. Under his direction the independent trade publishing company Mercury House was nominated for a Carey-Thomas Award for excellence in publishing. He has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, reviewing both translation and creative writing grant applications. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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