Think You Know Columbus? Think Again.

Today is Columbus Day. The legacy of Christopher Columbus has been debated for years. While he may have introduced Europeans to the beautiful New World in his search for a passage to the Orient, no one can deny that the consequences for the native population were cruel and devastating.

These five audio books examine various aspects of the life of Columbus – his final, unsung voyage, the aftermath of his arrival, as well as recreating his legendary trip, and questioning who really deserves the credit for discovering America.

The Last Voyage of Columbus: Being the Epic Tale of the Great Captain’s Fourth Expedition, Including Accounts of Swordfight, Mutiny, Shipwreck, Gold, War, Hurricane, and Discovery

By Martin Dugard

Everyone is familiar with the tale of Columbus searching for a trade route to Asia at the behest of Queen Isabella of Spain and instead discovering the new world. This book covers another attempt of Columbus to reach the Orient, one that doesn’t garner the same attention, but that holds all the elements of a thrilling adventure – shipwreck, mutiny, treachery and desperation.

 

Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A Life of Christopher Columbus

By Samuel Eliot Morison

Morison takes a radical approach to writing this insightful biography of Columbus — he undertakes his own voyage in a ship that approximates the conditions and follows the same routes as the famous Italian explorer.

 

1493

By Charles C. Mann

In 1493, Mann investigates the ensuing results of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas. From foreign species invading — and sometimes  devastating — the New World, to exotic new foods that reshaped the diet of Europeans, Mann illustrates the far-reaching effects that the voyage of Columbus had on our landscapes, our climate, our economy and our politics.

 

America’s Hidden History

By Kenneth C. Davis

We all know that Columbus brought more that just sailors to the New World. His arrival introduced disease and pests that went on to ravage the native population. In America’s Hidden History, Davis looks at many of the stories behind many well-known stories of the founding of America, including how a herd of parasite-ridden pigs came to be travelling with Columbus in the first place.

 

FOR KIDS:

Who Was First?: Discovering the Americas

By Russell Freedman

In this fun and fascinating book, Freedman shows us that contrary to popular belief, Columbus was not the first foreigner to set foot on these shores. Presenting evidence that Vikings and the Chinese pre-dated Columbus by generations, and offering up some unexplained mysteries that point to even more early explorers, Freedman shows that while Columbus may have got the glory, he was actually a latecomer to the New World.

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