Gary Snyder generously agreed to review my manuscript despite being in the middle of extensive traveling (to L.A. for a Lew Welch memorial and to Spain with Jim Harrison). I’m deeply grateful.

1616: The World in Motion is a brilliant creative examination and interpretation of the developed world’s recent history: east, middle, and west. In the seventeenth century, a sailing trip from London to Asia meant a year or more out of touch. Religion was about getting into a program that guaranteed you for eternity—one’s permanent status in the universe was at stake—and world population was one tenth of what it is now. Life was rich and intense. Christensen argues that there was already a global economy and a kind of Eastern Enlightenment in the works, as well as Occidental early science. He documents the affluence of the main civilizations of East Asia, South Asia, the Near East, and Western Europe and the significant colonial civilization in Central and South America. It is a treasure of plates of art and maps alone. The human future might hope to be a world like 1666 but with electricity. Back to that 90% lower population would leave room for solar panels, whales, Siberian tigers, cranes, dragons, and saints.

— Gary Snyder

This will probably be all the blurb work I’ll be doing until I get the ms. cleaned up and into galleys, when I’ll do another round.