European Discovery of America

European Discovery of America

3.97 (40 ratings by Goodreads)
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This is an abridgement of Samuel Morison's magnum opus, The European Discovery of America, in which he describes the early voyages that led to the discovery of the New World. All the acclaimed Morison touches are here - the meticulous research and authoritative scholarship, along with the personal and compelling narrative style that gives the reader the feeling of having been there. Morison, of course, has been there, and The Great Explorers is enriched with photographs and maps he made while personally retracing the great more

Product details

  • Paperback | 784 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 30.48mm | 1,043.26g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New ed of Abridged ed
  • frontispiece, halftones and maps throughout
  • 0195042220
  • 9780195042221

Review Text

The Southern Voyages completes Morison's monumental study of the Spanish and English explorers who discovered both coasts of the Americas. The author focuses mainly on the voyaging, how the travelers got here, and he sets aside such matters as the conquests of Mexico, Peru, Brazil and so on. Some of these are tremendous journeys - Magellan and Drake go around the world (though Magellan dies in the Philippines after discovering his famed straits at the tip of South America). Readers unfamiliar with Morison's work (or his persona in recent TV interviews) will be delighted to find a human, thoroughly unaffected historian who is almost childlike in his warmth and wonder - an octogenarian of ideal serenity and intelligence. His humanity is especially revealed in his depiction of Columbus (Morison also wrote the standard life of Columbus, Admiral of the Ocean Sea) as a spiritually zealous dreamer in search of the Indies - Columbus' strongest epithet was "May God take you!" (a wonderfully double-edged phrase). The descriptions of ships under sail (nearly all of the routes have been personally traced and followed by Morrison) are breezy and clear ("It is hard for any sailor to be sorry for Columbus, in spite of his later misfortunes; he enjoyed such glorious sailing weather on almost every voyage"). Expansive notes following each chapter are readable indeed. The whole is a triumph. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

40 ratings
3.97 out of 5 stars
5 28% (11)
4 50% (20)
3 15% (6)
2 8% (3)
1 0% (0)
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