An unbiased view of the great explorer's ventures to the New World, citing various historians' opinions and doubts. Columbus shines through Levinson's unembellished telling as a masterful, intuitive mariner who extensively researched current geographical knowledge and faced danger with sheer nerve. Unfortunately, he was less competent when it came to controlling and working with the Spanish and ""Indians"" in the new colonies. Like Meltzer (below), Levinson describes all four voyages; explains how Vespucci's name came to be given to the New World; and tells what happened to the Indians, what later explorers found, and why Columbus' feat was more significant than that of the Vikings. Clearly the result of careful research, this is a more traditional and less detailed account than Meltzer's; still, it's balanced yet vivid, presented in a large, handsome format with many historical illustrations. Appendices include a chronology; letters from Ferdinand and Isabella; and a list of the men on the 1492 voyage. Bibliography; index.