As the most celebrated European to explore Asia, Marco Polo was the original global traveler and the earliest bridge between East and West. A universal icon of adventure and discovery, he has inspired six centuries of popular fascination and spurious mythology. Now, from acclaimed author Laurence Bergreen, comes the first fully authoritative biography of one of the most enchanting figures in world history. In this masterly work, Marco Polo’s incredible odyssey–along with the Silk Road and through all the fantastic circumstances of his life–is chronicled in sumptuous and illuminating detail.
Drawing on original sources in more than half a dozen languages, and his own travels along Polo’s route in China and Mongolia, Bergreen explores the lingering controversies surrounding Polo’s legend, settling age-old questions and testing others for significance. Synthesizing history, biography, and travelogue, this is a timely chronicle of a man who extended the boundaries of human knowledge and imagination. Destined to be the definitive account of its subject for decades to come, Marco Polo takes us on a journey to the limits of history–and beyond.
"As enthralling as a rollicking travel journal."
-- New York Times Book Review
"With his polished, authoritative storytelling, Bergreen makes the world of Marco Polo very pertinent."--Entertainment Weekly
"Mesmerizing . . . This is lively history that is richly detailed and destined to be the definitive account of Marco Polo and his adventures for decades to come."
"Illuminating . . . A window into the most exotic of places and times."
--St. Petersburg Times
"Fascinating . . . A constant surprise and delight."
--The Plain Dealer
"[An] exciting reconstruction of the extraordinary life of Marco Polo . . . impressively researched and deftly composed."
"This is an enthusiastic retelling of Marco Polo's timeless story. Laurence Bergreen draws from a broad range of the surviving Polo manuscripts to create a convincing portrait of how Marco was able to get to thirteenth century China, and of what he saw, felt and did when he got there. Readers unfamiliar with Polo's adventures will find much pleasure here."
--Jonathan Spence, author of Emperor of China
"At last! Marco Polo comes to life! Laurence Bergreen, perhaps America's liveliest biographer, has created a triumph of fascinations, a classic portrait that now surely can never be bettered."
--Simon Winchester, author of The Map That Changed the World
From the Hardcover edition.