The Legacy of Christopher Columbus in the Americas: New Nations and a Transatlantic Discourse of Empire, by Elise Bartosik-Velez. Why is the capital of the United States named after Christopher Columbus, a Genoese explorer commissioned by Spain who never set foot here? Why did Spanish American nationalists in 1819 name a new independent republic “Colombia,” after Columbus, the first representative of the empire from which they had recently broken free? These are some of the many questions explored in this book.
Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem, by Carol Delaney. Five hundred years after he set sail, Columbus is still a controversial figure in history. Debates portray him either as the hero in the great drama of discovery or as an avaricious glory hunter and ruthless destroyer of indigenous cultures. In Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem, Carol Delaney offers a radically new interpretation of the man and his mission, claiming that the true motivation for his voyages is still widely unknown.
Christopher Columbus; The Four Voyages by J. M. Cohen: J. M. Cohen has skilfully woven together Columbus’s log-books and letters, the biography by his son Hernando, the official history by Oviedo, and the letters of the fleet physician and a loyal lieutenant. The result is a unique contemporary record of a great adventure as it unfolds. Part of the Penguin Classics series of books. The accounts collected here provide a vivid narrative of his voyages throughout the Caribbean and finally to the mainland of Central America.
Columbus: The Four Voyages, by Laurence Bergreen. 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.
A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies, by Bartolomé de Las Casas. de Las Casas was the first and fiercest critic of Spanish colonialism in the New World. An early traveler to the Americas who sailed on one of Columbus’s voyages, Las Casas was so horrified by the wholesale massacre he witnessed that he dedicated his life to protecting the Indian community. He wrote A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies in 1542, which showed that the evangelizing vision of Columbus had descended under later conquistadors into genocide. Part of the Penguin Classics series of books.
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, by Charles C. Mann. In this work of science, history, and archaeology, Charles C. Mann radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492. The pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; there were huge numbers of Indians who actively molded and influenced the land around them. The Aztec capital had running water and immaculately clean streets, and was larger than any contemporary European city.