Kon-Tiki: across the Pacific by raft

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Rand McNally, 1984 - Social Science - 303 pages
301 Reviews
For use in schools and libraries only. Photographs illustrate the author's account of his voyage from Peru to Tahiti on a balsa raft to test a theory concerning the origins of the Polynesian race.

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This book is the epitome of good non-fiction writing. - Goodreads
Easy to read, yet smart and highly entertaining. - Goodreads
I thought it was fun, interesting, and educational. - Goodreads
Easy to read and well worth the time. - Goodreads
Heyerdahl's writing style is absorbing. - Goodreads
So I am taking Lisa's advice and calling it quits :) - Goodreads

Review: Kon-Tiki

User Review  - Woody - Goodreads

This remains one of the great adventures of all time. What makes it truly special, is that it was also a way to test Thor Heyerdahl's hypothesis, that South American people were able to sail across ... Read full review

Review: Kon-Tiki

User Review  - Gerard Fleck - Goodreads

This is one of the classics of modern nautical literature. A true story where a group of Scandinavian scientists and sailors test their theory about Polynesian's crossing the Pacific on Balsa rafts ... Read full review

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Contents

Foreword to the 35th Anniversary Edition
3
A THEORY
11
AN EXPEDITION IS BORN
29
Copyright

8 other sections not shown

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About the author (1984)

This is an enthralling book," Hamilton Lasso wrote in The New Yorker of Kon-Tiki (1948), "and I don't think I can be very far off in calling it the most absorbing sea tale of our time." Heyerdahl, a Norwegian ethnologist, conceived the theory---not then accepted by other scientists---that Polynesia may have been originally settled by people who crossed the 4,100 miles of ocean from Peru in rafts made of balsa logs. Kon-Tiki is the story of how he and five others built the raft, as people of the Stone Age could build it, and traveled in it from Peru to a small island east of Tahiti---a "most fascinating description of intelligent courage." Heyerdahl believes that he has at last solved the problem of how natives raised the great statues on Easter Island and has written a most absorbing account of it in Aku-Aku (1958). He has adduced further corroboration of his theory from the findings in The Archaeology of Easter Island (1961). In the spring of 1969, Heyerdahl was engaged in a new experiment---planning to cross the Atlantic from Morocco to Yucatan in a 12-ton papyrus boat that he and others built themselves in the manner of the ancient Egyptians. In spite of general skepticism as to whether the boat, called the Ra, could make the journey without sinking when it became thoroughly water-soaked, Heyerdahl and six others set out in full confidence. They hoped to demonstrate that Egyptians might have made the journey in this manner 4,000 or 5,000 years ago and thus were the precursors of the Incas and Mayas. In July 1969, however, they were forced to abandon their attempt 600 miles short of their goal, near the Virgin Islands, after a series of storms had crippled the Ra. They left it drifting in the hope that it might reach Barbados on its own. Their second attempt, in Ra II, was successful. A subsequent journey in the reed-ship Tigris in 1977--78 was meant to show that such craft could maneuver against the wind and thus complete round-trip journeys through the ancient world via the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. Political conflicts in the region, however, led Heyerdahl and his crew to burn the Tigris in protest.

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