Laurence Bergreen: Columbus, The Four Voyages

WED, NOV 2, 2011 (1:16:45)

“Christopher Columbus never set foot on the mainland of North America, yet generations of school children were taught that Columbus discovered America. This is just one of the paradoxes attending the explorer’s career, both in his own time and in his afterlife in history. Laurence Bergreen has just completed the first major biography of Columbus in more than 60 years. His book, Columbus: The Four Voyages, places the 15th century explorer’s achievements into the context of the Age of Discovery, demonstrating both the rewards of exploration and the tragic costs. How significant was Columbus in his own time? What accounts for his lasting fame? How do we understand his ambiguous historical legacy: he founded the town of Santo Domingo, yet also provoked fifty thousand natives to commit mass suicide? What role does he play in America’s founding mythology?”

Cambridge Forum
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