Books: Wine-Dark Sails

Wine-Dark Sails THE RA EXPEDITIONS by Thor Heyerdahl. 341 pages. Doubleday. $10.

On April 28, 1947, an unknown Norwegian ethnologist named Thor Heyerdahl set off across the Pacific on a 45-ft. balsa raft he called Kon-Tiki, the Incan name for sun-god. Young Heyerdahl entertained a theory that Incan raftsmen might thus have freighted their civiliza tion to Polynesia. He failed to convince most fellow scholars that Peruvian-Polynesian cultural coincidences were more than just that. But by Aug. 7, when he cracked up on a coral reef 4,300 miles from Peru (and 250 miles...

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