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Harris, H.M., The Asiatic Fathers of America: Book One, The Chinese Discovery and Colonization of Ancient America (2640 B.C. to 2200 B.C.); Book Two, The Asiatic Kingdoms of America (458 A.D. to 1000 A.D.). Taitung: the Author, n.d. (no ISBN). 21xl5cm., two volumes bound as one, 319pp. and 479 pp., illustrated, cloth. (Dr. H.M. Harris, 88 Yung Sheng St., Taitung, Taiwan; available in the U.S. from Arcturus Book Service, Box 2213, Scotia, NY 12302, $19.95 plus $.85 shipping)

This book covers much the same ground as Pale Ink [Mertz, H.].  The flavor of this book is captured by the subtitle on the dust jacket: Including marvelous maps and proofs which unlock the secrets of ancient America!  But wait!  There's more!  How about almost 800 pages of handset type with Chinese characters interspersed.  Or perhaps a foldout ancient map.  The general theme of this book ought to strike a responsive chord with the map collector.  The author, while prowling antique shops in the Orient, came upon a old book of maps, including a Chinese world map.  Study convinced him that the map showed early explorations of the west coast of America.  He combined information on the map with Chinese accounts to construct an all-embracing theory of early American history. He presents interesting insights, such as Darien really being the Dah Ren appearing on his map, or Quivera real being Kuvera, the Buddhist god of riches.  There is much more of this. I personally found the book very enjoyable.  How much one wishes to believe is up to the reader.  Some doubt was raised in my mind when he identified "Land of Refined Gentleman" appearing on his map as Southern California.  My favorite touch was a photograph of his Chinese typesetters toiling away.  The book occasionally succumbs to amateur enthusiasm, and is reminiscent of Charles Hapgood's Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings.  It ought to interest collectors of Western American, Pacific, and Asian material.  It is a little out of the ordinary, but every good reference library ought to have an item or two like this.

David C. Jolly, 1988
 

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