Laurence Bergreen's Columbus was brilliant, audacious, volatile, paranoid and ruthless. What emerges in this biography, a worthy addition to the literature on Columbus, is a surprising and revealing portrait of a man who might have been the title character in a Shakespearean tragedy.
— Ian W Toll
Aside from what we learned as schoolchildren about Columbus sailing "the ocean blue," does anyone know what happened to him later? Bergreen's fascinating chronicle of the explorer portrays him as a flawed, tragic figure, struggling to keep his titles and honors...
— Nick Owchar
Laurence Bergreen's ambitious new biography, Columbus: The Four Voyages, [is] a spellbinding epic that's simultaneously a profoundly private portrait of the most complex, compelling, controversial creature ever to board a boat. This scrupulously researched, unbiased account of four death-defying journeys to The New World reveals the Admiral's paradoxical personality. Equal parts megalomaniac and mystic, Columbus was both cunning and charismatic, paranoid and penitent, thin-skinned and tough.
— Jerelle Kraus
A compelling new book [that] details the explorer's trips to the New World, including the three you haven't heard about.
— Brooke Allen
Once you have read this superb account of Columbus's four voyages, you will never be content with the cliché about the Italian-born explorer's sailing the ocean blue in 1492. Author of many prize-winning popular history books on topics as diverse as Marco Polo and Al Capone, Laurence Bergreen is a New York-based scholar whose portrayal of the life and times of Christopher Columbus is a tour de force.
— Ron Kirbyson
To recall Samuel Eliot Morison’s generation-old writings about Christopher Columbus and the Age of Exploration is to summon up memories of arid and aristocratic history written with his signature hauteur. Laurence Bergreen’s new book, refreshingly, is fluid in its style and comprehensive in its research. Richly illustrated and enhanced with maps that are as legible as they are relevant, “Columbus: The Four Voyages” is complex in its themes, intriguing in its substance and sparkling with surprises.
— Philip Kopper
In this scrupulously fair and often thrilling account of his four voyages to the “New World,” Bergreen reveals Columbus as brilliant, brave, adventurous, and deeply flawed. This is more than a personality study, and Bergreen illustrates the character of Columbus through his actions, avoiding facile attempts to analyze deep psychological motivations. The voyages, especially the last two, are the stuff of great adventure, and Bergreen effectively conveys the sense of wonder, danger, and exhilaration that accompanies voyages of discovery. He also portrays the slow personal deterioration of Columbus as he became increasingly rigid, frustrated, and prone to delusion. A superb reexamination of the character and career of a still controversial historical giant.
— Jay Freeman
Renowned historian and biographer Bergreen (Marco Polo) seeks to illuminate the complex motivations and historical circumstances that shaped the explorer's life...Bergreen's captivating narrative reveals a man obsessed to the point of delusion with acquiring gold and sending it back to Spain, perpetually unsure whether he should convert, enslave, or annihilate the natives he encountered, and dismissive of the continent he discovered...Bergreen's biography makes good use of first hand accounts, rendering a dramatic story that will appeal to a general readership.
Taken from eyewitness reports in Columbus's own log books, "Columbus: The Four Voyages" is a richly detailed book [which] takes the story of the explorer well beyond anything previously written about the discovery of the new world.
— Steve Larson
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