'In the dark twilight of fifteenth-century Europe, the overriding question was how to survive the misery and suffering and violence that seemed to be rushing the world to its end. The answer that came was the conquest of Paradise.' Christopher Columbus' arrival on a small Bahamian island in 1492 is often judged to be a defining moment in the history of mankind, changing forever the map of the world. The discovery of the Americas opened up horizons and previously unimagined possibilities for the dark and troubled Old World, which greedily plundered its natural wealth and decimated its indigenous populations. Columbus has been both venerated as the great Discoverer and despised as the progenitor of centuries of aggressive colonisation and the destruction of fragile cultures. Now, 500 years after his death in the heart of Castille, comes a fresh reassessment of the man and his legacy. Kirkpatrick Sale uniquely examines the global consequences of the Discovery, revealing the colossal impact this brief moment in history had on a continent and on the world.
'This is a work of haunting attraction, of splendid magnitude, illuminating scholarship and compelling strength and imagination...I am filled with admiration.' -- Joseph Heller 'At once magnificent and important.' -- Financial Times