Columbus: Book summary and reviews of Columbus by Laurence Bergreen

Columbus

The Four Voyages

by Laurence Bergreen

Columbus by Laurence Bergreen X
Columbus by Laurence Bergreen
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Book Summary

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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Reviews

Media Reviews

"While sensationalist and lacking in scholarly rigor, Bergreen’s biography makes good use of the firsthand accounts of Columbus's contemporaries, rendering a dramatic story that will appeal to general readership." - Publishers Weekly

"This is a well-written, even gripping book, but it has limited research value since it lacks a detailed scholarly apparatus. However, lay readers will find it entertaining and enlightening." - Library Journal

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Author Information

Laurence Bergreen Author Biography

Sigrid Estrada

Michael Richard Beschloss is an American historian. A specialist in the United States presidency, in November 2013, he was appointed as a contributing columnist on history for The New York Times. His "HistorySource" column appears in a new section of the newspaper called "The Upshot." He writes a weekly sports history column that appears in the weekend editions of the New York Times.

Born in Chicago, Michael Beschloss is an alumnus of Williams and Harvard, holds three honorary doctorates and frequently lectures both here and abroad. In 2005, he won an Emmy for his role in creating the Discovery Channel's "Decisions That Shook the World," of which he was host.

He is a trustee of the White House Historical Association and the National Archives Foundation and a former trustee of the ...

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