Fifth in an excellent series, this is chronologically first as it sets the stage for the subsequent volumes. The pageant of...

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NEW FOUND WORLD: How North America Was Discovered and Explored

Fifth in an excellent series, this is chronologically first as it sets the stage for the subsequent volumes. The pageant of discovery Journeys to the New World with Columbus, Verrazano, Vespucci, DeSoto, Cabot, Champlain, and carries as ballast the personal dreams and natural aims which inspired all these and their fellow adventurers. Then continuing on into the 16th century, when discoverers replaced explorers flashing back to pre-history and the dawn-age hunter- ranging from the Inca civilization to the French in Canada, the book has a welcome expansiveness. It probes skillfully the economical and political causes of conquest, particularly in Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and England. It explores the development of primitive astrolabes and sextants; principles of Mercator projection and improved cartography; Hakluyt's chronicles and the published accounts of returning explorers; the intellectual forces of every type that helped shape the course of empire. The pageant of discovery is brought down to its crudest motives. Senseless warfare with the natives stemmed out of senseless quests for El Dorado. Explorers turned into ghouls and slave traders, they burned a village because a silver cup was missing, they used the seductive manners of the court to connive to get the pearls off the neck of a princess. The narrative, rich with incident, detail and quotation from primary sources deliberately individualizes history and puts it on its most instructive level. Adult readers will relish what adolescents newly awakened to their heritage will cherish.

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 1955

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1955