Columbus: The Four Voyages

Columbus The Four Voyages From the author of the Magellan biography Over the Edge of the World a mesmerizing new account of the great explorer Christopher Columbus s voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in search of a tradi

  • Title: Columbus: The Four Voyages
  • Author: Laurence Bergreen
  • ISBN: 9780670023011
  • Page: 331
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From the author of the Magellan biography, Over the Edge of the World, a mesmerizing new account of the great explorer 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 voyages within the span of only a decade, From the author of the Magellan biography, Over the Edge of the World, a mesmerizing new account of the great explorer 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 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 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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      Published :2019-05-09T19:51:58+00:00

    About “Laurence Bergreen”

    1. Laurence Bergreen

      Laurence Bergreen is an award winning biographer, historian, and chronicler of exploration His books have been translated into over 20 languages worldwide In October 2007, Alfred A Knopf published Marco Polo From Venice to Xanadu, a groundbreaking biography of the iconic traveler Warner Brothers is developing a feature film based on this book starring Matt Damon and written by William Monahan, who won an Oscar for The Departed His previous work, Over the Edge of the World Magellan s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe, was published to international acclaim by William Morrow HarperCollins in October 2003 A New York Times Notable Book for 2003, it is also in development as a motion picture and is now in its tenth printing In addition, Bergreen is the author of Voyage to Mars NASA s Search for Life Beyond Earth, a narrative of NASA s exploration of Mars, published in November 2000 by Penguin Putnam Dramatic rights were acquired by TNT In 1997, Bantam Doubleday Dell published Louis Armstrong An Extravagant Life, a comprehensive biography drawing on unpublished manuscripts and exclusive interviews with Armstrong colleagues and friends It appeared on many Best Books of 1997 lists, including those of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Publishers Weekly, and has been published in Germany, Finland, and Great Britain In 1994, Simon Schuster published his Capone The Man and the Era A Book of the Month Club selection, it has been published in numerous foreign languages, was optioned by Miramax, and was a New York Times Notable Book His biography, As Thousands Cheer The Life of Irving Berlin, appeared in 1990 This book won the Ralph J Gleason Music Book Award and the ASCAP Deems Taylor award and received front page reviews in major American and British newspapers and appeared on bestseller lists it was also a New York Times Notable Book for 1990 His previous biography, James Agee A Life, was also critically acclaimed and was a New York Times Notable Book for 1984 His first book was Look Now, Pay Later The Rise of Network Broadcasting, published by Doubleday in 1980 He has written for many national publications including Esquire, Newsweek, TV Guide, Details, Prologue, The Chicago Tribune, and Military History Quarterly He has 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 In 1995, he served as a judge for the National Book Awards and in 1991 as a judge for the PEN Albrand Nonfiction Award A frequent lecturer at major universities and symposiums, he also serves as a Featured Historian for the History Channel Mr Bergreen graduated from Harvard University in 1972 He is a member of PEN American Center, The Explorers Club, the Authors Guild, and the board of the New York Society Library He lives in New York City and is represented by Suzanne Gluck of the William Morris Agency.

    580 thoughts on “Columbus: The Four Voyages”

    1. Laurence Bergreen has provided in this book an exhaustive account of the four voyages made by Christopher Columbus to the New World. He demonstrates the great challenges that Columbus faced, both from the magnitude of the task that he assumed and from the scores of people he managed to alienate along the way. Bergreen also describes the enormous consequences that are still playing out today as a result of the initial contact between the "Old" World and the "New." As everyone knows, Columbus has [...]


    2. I read Laurence Bergreen’s “Over the Edge of the World-Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe” years ago. I looked forward to this author’s book on “The Great Discoverer”. Bergreen is a first rate historian and a compelling writer. He seems to have found a niche in delivering early maritime history epics and the early explorers of the New World are rich with drama. I like the Christopher Columbus that Laurence Bergreen has portrayed and feel that it is an accurate pres [...]


    3. Laurence Bergreen has made a habit of crafting well-told modern historical narratives about some of history’s greatest explorers. Bergreen went world-wide with an exploration of the great world navigator himself, Ferdinand Magellen in "Over the Edge of the World". Then he took readers East to follow Marco Polo on his travels in "Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu". And now Bergreen comes closer to home as he travels from Spain to the New World with Christopher Columbus in "Columbus: The Four Vo [...]


    4. "Columbus: The Four Voyages" by Laurence Bergreen is an excellent account of Christopher Columbus' four voyages from Spain to the Americas between 1492 and 1504. The book is structured around the four voyages. However, there is also a good amount of biographical information about Columbus and a decent amount of historical information about Europe and the Americas of the time. Bergreen paints a complex portrait of Columbus: A brilliant, courageous navigator, but a mediocre administrator. A person [...]


    5. A detailed and extensive description of the four Columbian voyages, which also provides a good insight in the mysterious man behind Columbus. A perfect introduction to the discovery of the America'sHow is it possible, that the man who discovered America, after two years was sent back to home in chains from Hispaniola to Spain? How was it possible that King Ferdinand disdained him, after he discovered rich lands that would enable Spain to dominate the European continent for the century to come? H [...]


    6. Christopher Columbus - heroic bearer of the light of civilization and Christianity to a world lost in darkness?Christopher Columbus - genocidal egomaniac who raped and plundered a virgin continent and sold its people to slavery and destruction?Or . . . something in between the two?Columbus is one of the most celebrated and vilified men of history, and also one of the least understood. Bergreen's new biography separates the man from the myth, showing a Columbus who was neither an enlightened geni [...]


    7. Really sort of poor. Rife with small mistakes and inconsistencies that are distracting even if you're not looking out for them. There was hardly any analysis or even synthesis of different sources; he really just told me a story, and I couldn't help but think that I'd have gotten more out of it if I'd just read Las Casas and Columbus's letters.In fairness, I realize after finishing this that the author is a biographer, not a historian (even a popular historian), and if I'm going to read a book b [...]


    8. Prior to reading Mr. Bergreen's book, my knowledge of Christopher Columbus was sketchy, and my opinion of him generally negative. I came away from it with a greater understanding and even admiration for Columbus as a navigator and explorer. The book is easy to read, and well worth the effort to understand this exceptional person and his lasting effect on our world.


    9. A wonderful chronological narrative of a little-known explorer. I say "little-known" because although everyone in the English speaking world knows the rhyme about "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue" and credits him with discovering the New World, almost nothing else is general knowledge about the extent of his voyages, his personality, his navigational skills, his leadership style, the politics surrounding his life and work, his brother and son, etc etc. There is much to be told and Bergre [...]


    10. Have read a couple of Bergreen's previous works and this one lives up the standard. A very well written narrative of the four voyages. Bergreen doesn't polish over anything in the telling of Columbus' expeditions and exploitation of the Caribbean islands. This should be required reading for high-school and university level history classes. Columbus is presented as an unsympathetic figure who was driven and motivated to make his mark at the expense of whoever was in his way. And as he "found God, [...]


    11. Bergreen has written about the four voyages of Columbus in a manner that is accessible to the non-nautical history buff. There are several maps of the voyages and three photo insert sections with pictures of contemporary maps, paintings of some of the key figures, and illustrations from historical texts. It is obvious that a lot of research about Columbus and his voyages went into this work. However, the telling of the information often seemed to take place in a back and forth motion through tim [...]


    12. This is a very fascinating book. The author takes you on all four of Columbus' voyages and gives a great amount of detail into the traumatic life of the great explorer. That being said, the author does suffer from that predilection, seemingly endemic among modern historians, to judge the past by the present. For instance, the author repeatedly and condescendingly asserts that Columbus "refused" to consider that his new discovery was in fact a new world and not merely the coastline of China, whic [...]


    13. Podia parecer um desafio de tentar escrever mais um livro sobre Colombo, personagem fora do comum que consegue, 510 anos depois da sua morte, atrair odios e paixões, favorecer mitos e teorias secretas. Mas Laurence Bergreen conseguiu brilhantemente. Guardando o rigor do historiador, ele mostra atravês das quatro viagens a personalidade complexa do genovês, seu imenso talento de navigador, sua fé mística, mas também sua arrogância, sua ganância, e mesma sua crueldade. Mesmo para quem conh [...]


    14. Wonderfully well written book of all four of Columbus' voyages filled with nitty-gritty details from firsthand accounts. It took Columbus 33 days to make the first voyage from Canary Islands to the Americas, and forever the new and old worlds would be inexorably intertwined. As Bergreen accounts "He created history as he went, as if time and place were two aspects of the same entity that he chased for 12 years, guided by Marco Polo, inspired by the bible, and driven by his lust for gold." Columb [...]


    15. I had no idea that Columbus had four voyages after discovering America so I knew I had to read this book when I came across it. It sounded too interesting to pass up.The pacing of the book was a bit too slow for me but I found the locales and history engaging. I've spent a fair amount of time island-hopping around the Caribbean so I was intrigued to learn the history of some of the places I've been to.I was appalled by how often Columbus and his merry men took advantage of the local Indian peopl [...]


    16. Christopher Columbus is an interesting man, not just a historical figure from our grade school textbooks. His saga, his quests, his delusions make for material that can beat any novel, any TV miniseries for intrigue, action and adventure. This book a solid three star. I liked it. Bergreen does no broad brush judging. He pens a balanced, cross referenced portrait of this complicated human. Columbus was first a naturally gifted global navigator. His knack for achieving targets across the Atlantic [...]


    17. I really like this book, and it is one of the few that will go on my "keep for a possible second read" shelf. I read everything I can get my hands on about Columbus and the European discovery of the Americas and this was one of my favorites. Good character assessment of Columbus (an interesting character by any standard--even Las Casas had good things to say in spite of his general criticism of how the Indians were treated). The old description of "flawed genius" comes to mind. Most people do no [...]


    18. What Columbus did personally to the natives in the Americas and unleashed on them in the name of Christ in the form of unabated colonialism is criminal. Murder, torture, enslavement, rape, lie after lie, deceptions, taking advantage of their innocence, unfair trade deals (hawks bells and glass beads for gold!!!), and on and on. How can one hold such diametrically opposed ideas of Christ, on the one hand, which should include kindness, love, patience, self-control, humility, etc to the brutal out [...]


    19. Not much story-telling here as it mostly repeats prose from Columbus' and his contemporaries' journals, strung together with the author's pedantic and repetitive observations about how out of touch Columbus was with 21st century mores and geographical knowledge. Nonetheless, the book serves as a decent overview of the four voyages, even if it is a bit of slog at times.


    20. I have read a handful of books on Columbus. Including his travel narratives. What I really enjoyed about this book is that the author was able to offer valuable insight to the reader as far as what may have been going on during the journal passages. Very informative.


    21. Fairly good. If you are a history buff this is a nice book to have in your collection. However, I loved Bergreen's Over The Edge Of The World and would recommend that book over both this and his Marco Polo bio.



    22. I did not know that Columbus made four (4) voyages! The politics of the Spanish Court were just like today! Backstabbing and betrayal.


    23. I really wanted to read this book. With the ever-shifting public opinion of Columbus, I wanted to learn for myself if his admiration or scorn was justified. What I learned has changed my opinion of the man.What I admire about man was that he made four voyages into the unknown on ships the size of a Ford Focus (exaggerating a lot but you get the idea). With no knowledge of what lay ahead he pressed on looking for the Grand Khan of China, who in reality was gone for almost two hundred years and li [...]


    24. With the modern (or not so modern) hatred of Columbus I felt like a good biography of him was in order. Obtained for cheap at half priced books my college fund was not dented too much. My back and forth positive and negative impression on him was dented. I was surprised to learn that he had taken 4 voyages. WHAT? School never taught me that, they also never taught me that each one was increasingly hard on him and his crew and that so many of the bad things that we attribute to Columbus, his succ [...]


    25. It's amazing how much admiration and respect persists in these modern times when it comes to seeing all the statues that are erected in major cities in the Caribbean such as San Juan, Puerto Rico or in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and all throughout the Americas knowing of these men we know as Conquistadors from Spain. They slaughtered millions of Tainos and natives from all the Americas. I guess these statues are there to serve as a living proof that greed, an inflated ego, and being [...]


    26. With the majority of the books that I read, I give the book ample chance to get into a rhythm. I could not do that with this book at all.After 29 pages, the only thing that was on my mind was the "Grand Khan" which was repeated so many times that it became a distraction. It seemed that every island that Columbus ventured to was in search of the Grand Khan which I understood the first time the Grand Khan was referred to but for some reason the author felt the need to repeat this time and time aga [...]


    27. I found this book engrossing and it contains a wealth of detail about the four voyages of Columbus, but the author gives inconsistent accounts of the same event more than once. One such event during the fourth voyage is the rescue mission led by Diego Mendez after Columbus became stranded in Jamaica. In Chapter 12 the author says Mendez and his men paddled in canoes for five days and four nights to reach Hispanola, and they neither ate nor drank for the last two days. Then in Chapter 13 the auth [...]


    28. I had never really studied the "other three" voyages that Columbus made after his famous (but navigationally challenged) discovery of Hispaniola. I thought this book actually makes Columbus a slightly more sympathetic character in parts, if only because it gives personal accounts of some pretty shocking encounters with the natives, and because it really goes into a great deal of detail into his motivations and his declining mental health. I did think the author took a few too many liberties with [...]


    29. A very hard look at one of histories most noted explorers. Columbus' expedition to seek out China and India resulted in one of the turning point of World History. The consequences of which are still be being felt even today. The ignorance, the wonder, the brutality and all the misconceptions/assumptions that led to the present day are all laid bare in this novel. An excellent work I have greatly enjoyed Mr Bergreen's works and I thank him for providing me with a greater understanding of my histo [...]


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