Felipe Fernandezarmesto

Felipe Fernández-Armesto: Beyond the Myth of Magellan

47 min listen

In this week’s Book Club podcast, my guest is the historian Felipe Fernández-Armesto. 500 years after Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition circumnavigated the globe, Felipe’s gripping new book Straits: Beyond the Myth of Magellan goes back to the original sources to discover that almost everything we think we know about this hero of the great age of

Facts and fables of the New World

The Amazon can drive you mad. In Werner Herzog’s cult movie Aguirre: Wrath of God, Klaus Kinski affected a crazed stare that bordered on self-caricature. But the real-life explorer he portrayed was a first-class, unquestionable, copper-bottomed maniac, who systematically murdered his companions, as they drifted downriver in torrid, febrile paranoia in 1560. He recast himself

Only slightly under the influence

‘The Age of Russia,’ according to the doom-fraught speculations Oswald Spengler published in 1918, would succeed ‘the Decline of the West’. For a while, it looked as if he was right. Russia’s non-western credentials became part of the rhetoric of Soviet foreign policy. Hailed as ‘the future which works’, Russia was earnestly copied by escapers