Columbus: The Four Voyages, 1492-1504

Columbus: The Four Voyages, 1492-1504

by Laurence Bergreen
Columbus: The Four Voyages, 1492-1504

Columbus: The Four Voyages, 1492-1504

by Laurence Bergreen


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143122104
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/25/2012
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 283,461
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Laurence Bergreen is the author of several award-winning biographies, including those of Louis Armstrong, Al Capone, Irving Berlin, and James Agee. He has written for many national publications including Esquire and Newsweek, taught at the New School for Social Research, and served as Assistant to the President of the Museum of Television and Radio in New York. Bergreen has also served as a nonfiction judge for the National Book Awards and as a judge for the PEN/Albrand Nonfiction Award. Bergreen lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Dramatis Personae xiii

List of Maps xv

Prologue: October 1492 1

Part 1 Discovery

1 Thirty-three Days 13

2 Son of Genoa 46

3 Shipwreck 76

4 "The People from the Sky" 95

Part 2 Conquest

5 River of Blood 119

6 Rebellion 160

7 Among the Taínos 188


The Columbian Exchange 221

Part 3 Decadence

8 "A Great Roaring" 227

9 Roldán's Revolt 250

10 "Send Me Back in Chains" 274

Part 4 Recovery

11 El Alto Viaje 293

12 Castaways in Paradise 321

13 February 29, 1504 339

Epilogue: Columbus Day 365

Acknowledgments 369

Notes on Sources 373

Selected Bibliography 387

Index 399

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