Toward the Setting Sun: Columbus, Cabot, Vespucci, and the Race for America [NOOK Book]

Overview

Most Americans don't look far beyond Christopher Columbus when it comes to the discovery of America, yet the simple fact that we bear the name of Amerigo Vespucci suggests there is more to the story. And indeed, there is: a trio of young Italian pioneers who were merchants more than explorers and who, while in search of glory and vast profits, battled to become the first to cross the western ocean.


David Boyle reveals in Toward the Setting Sun, that the race for America was as...

See more details below
Toward the Setting Sun: Columbus, Cabot, Vespucci, and the Race for America

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 12%)$11.99 List Price

Overview

Most Americans don't look far beyond Christopher Columbus when it comes to the discovery of America, yet the simple fact that we bear the name of Amerigo Vespucci suggests there is more to the story. And indeed, there is: a trio of young Italian pioneers who were merchants more than explorers and who, while in search of glory and vast profits, battled to become the first to cross the western ocean.


David Boyle reveals in Toward the Setting Sun, that the race for America was as much about commerce as it was about discovery and conquest. When Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1453, the long established trade routes to the East became treacherous and expensive forcing merchants of all sorts to find new ways of obtaining and trading their goods. Enterprising young men took to the sea in search of new lands, new routes, and of course, new fortune.


The careers of three young men--Columbus, Vespucci and Giovanni Caboto (known to us as John Cabot) would change not only their personal destinies, but that of the New World. Contrary to popular belief, the three not only knew of each other, they were well acquainted--Columbus and Vespucci at various times worked closely together; Cabot and Columbus were born in Genoa about the same time and had common friends who were interested in Western trade possibilities. They collaborated, knew of each other's ambitions and followed each other's progress. The intersection of their dreams and business ventures led the way to our modern world and ushered in the end of the medieval age.


David Boyle skillfully brings together for the first time the three stories that shaped the race for America and in doing so adds a unique economic and business dimension to the earliest days of our country.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

John Hemming
…this dense, fact-filled book is a compelling read…Boyle has summarized the latest research on all of the main enigmas about these famous explorations. They will remain debatable unless more documents come to light. But Toward the Setting Sun succeeds in painting vivid portraits of the three main players, showing them as less heroic than the classic image, but also more human and accessible to modern readers.
—The Washington Post
Library Journal

The story of America's discovery has been told many times before, but Boyle (The Troubadour's Song: The Capture and Ransom of Richard the Lionheart) believes new insights and connections can be gleaned by juxtaposing the lives of Columbus, Cabot, and Vespucci while highlighting the main reason for Western exploration: profit. Boyle describes Columbus and Cabot as salesmen, loners, and outsiders, while Vespucci is characterized as an insider, trustworthy, efficient, and a fixer. All were involved in the slave trade. Other historians have noted a probable collaboration between Cabot and Columbus in seeking an alternative and profitable route to the Indies. Admitting to uncertainties, Boyle nonetheless presents three goals of their scheme: to obtain financial rewards in perpetuity from any future use of their pioneered route, solicit investors and partners to share the costs, and develop Eastern supply contacts in advance. No documents have survived definitively linking Cabot and Columbus (and his brother Bartholomew); Boyle alludes to discovered connections in the Venetian archives but fails to detail them. Readers new to the subject of America's discovery will find Boyle's writing interesting and the intertwining of Columbus's, Cabot's, and Vespucci's stories engaging. An optional purchase for public libraries.
—Faye Harkins

Kirkus Reviews
A new view of the connections and intrigues that bound together the New World's principal discoverers. London-based historian Boyle (The Troubadour's Song: The Capture and Ransom of Richard the Lionheart, 2005, etc.) reconsiders the 15th century's wave of transatlantic discoveries in terms of three prominent figures who not only knew each other but both collaborated and occasionally betrayed each other's trust. It's a grand span of history, still subject to revision as new information comes to light. In 1453, the Turkish conquest of Byzantium (Constantinople) threatened the Italian city-states' opulence, heavily dependent on eastern trade routes to Asia. Christopher Columbus was then two years old, soon to be scampering the same Genoa back alleys as his boyhood pal (Boyle speculates) John Cabot, two years older. The author follows these two and their Florentine contemporary, Amerigo Vespucci, stressing that their primary motives were neither heroic nor humanitarian. The soon-to-be-named American continent had already been visited, either purposefully or by accident, he notes, by various other Europeans: Vikings briefly settled it 500 years earlier; English, Breton and even Basque cod fishermen had been driven ashore in gales, etc. The difference? These three were "ambitious but rather unsuccessful merchants . . . armed with a method-at least Columbus and Cabot-to profit by their discoveries that their rivals lacked." These stateless mercenaries offered the New World's largesse to monarchs of Spain and Portugal in return for a percentage for themselves. It didn't pan out. Columbus's fall was the hardest; in lieu of the gold he never found, he ultimately sent Taino Indians to Spain asslaves. The Tainos were probably already being enslaved, even cannibalized, by rival Caribs, Boyle comments, but Columbus was supposedly performing Christian acts. The author also suggests that Cabot's death at sea, accepted as fact for centuries, may not have happened; here he elaborates on an alternative survival theory. Easily satisfies Boyle's premise that telling the customary three stories as one sheds valuable light on the Age of Exploration and its portent. Agent: Julian Alexander/Lucas Alexander Whitley
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802779786
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 3/15/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 1,061,457
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

David Boyle is the author of The Sum of Our Discontent and is a contributor to a wide range of newspapers and magazines. He lives in London, England.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Prologue: Setting Sail 1

1 Paradise Lost 5

2 Maps 32

3 The Enterprise 64

4 In Debt 94

5 Triumph and Disaster 133

6 Heading North 176

7 Strange Meetings 223

8 The Finish Line 264

9 The New World 310

10 The Meaning of the New World 350

Postscript: Stars and Stripes 367

Acknowledgments 373

Notes 377

Selected Bibliography 401

Index 407

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2013

    Blaze

    Hello. I'm blaze. A strong handesome young wolf just made as a adult. Im looking for a mate which will probabley be shimmer she is attractive. I hope she or not have pups i want her to have pups if i did get her as my mate. I am a flaming wolf with green eyes and a swirl on my chest.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)