*A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice*From celebrated Yale professor Valerie Hansen, a "vivid" and "astonishingly comprehensive account [that] casts world history in a brilliant new light" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) and shows how bold explorations and daring trade missions first connected all of the world's societies at the end of the first millennium. People often believe that the years immediately prior to AD 1000 were, with just a few exceptions, lacking in any major cultural developments or geopolitical encounters, that the Europeans hadn't yet reached North America, and that the farthest feat of sea travel was the Vikings' invasion of Britain. But how, then, to explain the presence of blond-haired people in Maya temple murals at Chichén Itzá, Mexico? Could it be possible that the Vikings had found their way to the Americas during the height of the Maya empire? Valerie Hansen, an award-winning historian, argues that the year 1000 was the world's first point of major cultural exchange and exploration. Drawing on nearly thirty years of research, she presents a compelling account of first encounters between disparate societies, which sparked conflict and collaboration eerily reminiscent of our contemporary moment. For readers of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel and Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens, The Year 1000 is a "fascinating...highly impressive, deeply researched, lively and imaginative work" (The New York Times Book Review) that will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about how the modern world came to be.