The Travels by Marco Polo

The Travels by Marco Polo

The Travels of Marco Polo is a book that describes Polo’s travels through Asia between 1271 and 1295, and his experiences at the court of Kublai Khan. The book was written by romance writer Rustichello da Pisa, who worked from accounts which he had heard from Marco Polo when they were imprisoned together in Genoa.

The major theme of the book is the wonder and beauty of the Orient, which Polo explores and describes in great detail. Other themes include the importance of long-term goals and perseverance in achieving them, as well as the value of cultural exchange and understanding.

What I Liked

This book was one of those rare primary source books that’s actually fun to read. It’s the original crazy travel book (which is one of my favorite genres). Polo is hilarious and so well-traveled. It’s hard to believe some of the trips he endured (or didn’t actually endure). Great book to put you in a different place & time.

What I Did Not Like

It was written in the Middle Ages…top entertain and propagandize. So it requires a bit of effort and some healthy skepticism.

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