Most of us have been taught to think of Christopher Columbus as a single-minded, courageous visionary whose navigational skills led him to “discover” the Americas. In this beautifully written revisionist biography, accessible to people of all ages, Hans Koning gives us the true history of Columbus’ life and voyages.
Koning describes how Columbus’ consuming drive to send mountains of gold back to Spain shaped his life, beginning the story with his childhood in Genoa and ending after his return from his fourth and final voyage, an old man in disgrace. He shows how Columbus’ discovery led to the enrichment of the conquerors through the plunder and murder of the native peoples of the Americas.
In an afterword for teachers, Bill Bigelow a high school social studies teacher and the author of several curricula shows how the book can be imaginatively used in the classroom to teach students to read history skeptically.
The book is an idea that has finally found its time.
I think your book on Christopher Columbus is important. I’m more grateful for that book than any other book I have read in the last couple of years.