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9780143122104

Columbus: The Four Voyages, 1492-1504

Bergreen, Laurence

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From the author of the Magellan biography, Over the Edge of the World, a mesmerizing new account of the great explorer

Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in search of a trading route to China, and his unexpected landfall in the Americas, is a watershed event in world history. Yet Columbus made three more voyages within the span of only a decade, each designed to demonstrate that he could sail to China within a matter of weeks and convert those he found there to Christianity. These later voyages were even more adventurous, violent, and ambiguous, but they revealed Columbus's uncanny sense of the sea, his mingled brilliance and delusion, and his superb navigational skills. In all these exploits he almost never lost a sailor. By their conclusion, however, Columbus was broken in body and spirit. If the first voyage illustrates the rewards of exploration, the latter voyages illustrate the tragic costs—political, moral, and economic.

In rich detail Laurence Bergreen re-creates each of these adventures as well as the historical background of Columbus's celebrated, controversial career. Written from the participants' vivid perspectives, this breathtakingly dramatic account will be embraced by readers of Bergreen's previous biographies of Marco Polo and Magellan and by fans of Nathaniel Philbrick, Simon Winchester, and Tony Horwitz.

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He knew nothing of celestial navigation or of the existence of the Pacific Ocean. He was a self-promoting and ambitious entrepreneur. His maps were a hybrid of fantasy and delusion. When he did make land, he enslaved the populace he found, encouraged genocide, and polluted relations between peoples. He ended his career in near lunacy. But Columbus had one asset that made all the difference, an inborn sense of the sea, of wind and weather, and of selecting the optimal course to get from A to B. Laurence Bergreen's energetic and bracing book gives the whole Columbus and most importantly, the whole of his career, not just the highlight of 1492. Columbus undertook three more voyages between 1494 and 1504, each designed to demonstrate that he could sail to China within a matter of weeks and convert those he found there to Christianity. By their conclusion, Columbus was broken in body and spirit, a hero undone by the tragic flaw of pride. If the first voyage illustrates the rewards of exploration, this book shows how the subsequent voyages illustrate the costs - political, moral, and economic.

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A Look Inside Columbus: The Four Voyages
(Click on Images to Enlarge)

Description: Engraving of Christopher Columbus offering his services to King John (João) II of Portugal before winning the backing of Spain.

Description: World map, c1489, of Henricus Martellus. A similar map is believed to have influenced Columbus’s ideas about his first voyage.

Description: Woodcut from 1493 of Native Americans fleeing in fear of Columbus as he sets foot on the Bahama island “Guanahani.”

Description: A 1493 woodcut accompanying Columbus’s “Letter on the First Voyage,” illustrating his arrival in the Indies.

Description: World map, 1500, of Juan de la Cosa, cartographer and navigator on Christopher Columbus's second voyage of 1493-94.

Description: The first page of Columbus’s 1492 manuscript The Book of Privileges.

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Book Description Penguin Books, 2012. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "Once you have read this superb acount of Columbus' four voyages, you will never be content with the cliche about the Italian-born explorer's sailing the ocean blue in 1492. Author of many prize-winning popular history books on topics as diverse as Marco Polo and Al Capone. Laurence Bergreen is a New York-based scholar whose portrayal of the life and times of Christopher Columbus is a tour de force.". Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_014312210X

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Book Description Penguin. 1 Paperback(s), 2012. soft. Book Condition: New. Following his biographies of Marco Polo and Magellan (as well as of Louis Armstrong, Al Capone, Irving Berlin, and James Agee), Laurence Bergreen here gives us one of the most accomplished, controversial, essential figures of the age of exploration. Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage across the Atlantic is known to almost everyone in Europe and the Americas, yet few remember that he made three more voyages hoping to prove that he could reach China. Even more adventurous, ambiguous, and violent than the first, they left him broken in body and spirit. In Bergreen's vivid, richly detailed account, these later voyages reveal Columbus's uncanny sense of the sea as well as his mingled brilliance and delusion, and illustrate the rewards as well as the tragic costs—political, moral, and economic—of exploration."Laurence Bergreen's Columbus was brilliant, audacious, volatile, paranoid and ruthless. What emerges in this biography, a worthy addition to the literature on Columbus, is a surprising and revealing portrait of a man who might have been the title character in a Shakespearean tragedy."—NYTBR 448. Bookseller Inventory # 34155

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 208 x 137 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. He knew nothing of celestial navigation or of the existence of the Pacific Ocean. He was a self-promoting and ambitious entrepreneur. His maps were a hybrid of fantasy and delusion. When he did make land, he enslaved the populace he found, encouraged genocide, and polluted relations between people. He ended his career in near lunacy. But Columbus had one asset that made all the difference, an inborn sense of the sea, of wind and weather, and of selecting the optimal course to get from A to B. Laurence Bergreen s energetic and bracing book gives the whole Columbus and most importantly, the whole of his career, not just the highlight of 1492. Columbus undertook three more voyages between 1494 and 1504, each designed to demonstrate that he could sail to China within a matter of weeks and convert those he found there to Christianity. By their conclusion, Columbus was broken in body and spirit, a hero undone by the tragic flaw of pride. If the first voyage illustrates the rewards of exploration, this book shows how the subsequent voyages illustrate the costs - political, moral, and economic. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780143122104

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