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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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By David on 26-08-12
Does exactly what you want
An excellent survey of Columbus's career, and particularly interesting in the way it devotes attention to all four voyages, rather than focusing on the famous one that started it all. The narrative enables to appreciate Columbus's admirable qualities (his brilliance as a navigator) as well as his flaws (terrible people skills!). You will feel alternately impressed by, horrified at, and sympathetic toward the man.
No problems with the narrator.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Chris on 12-04-12
More than I even needed to know
What did you like best about Columbus? What did you like least?
Ton's of information, well preformed and interesting. At times the information was difficult to follow. The book bridges a fine line between historical periodical and a story about this tremendously important historical figure. My personal opinion of Columbus was improved by reading this epic tale. Thanks to the author.
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
Gaining an understanding of the effort that went into the voyages
Have you listened to any of Tim Jerome’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Not that I am aware of but this performance was good!
Could you see Columbus being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?
At first no, but now that I think of it there is enough richness in the details for a screenwriter to simplify and organize the book into mini stories. I could totally see a John Malkovich type as Columbus.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful