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The Last Voyage of Columbus: Being the Epic Tale of the Great Captain's Fourth Expedition, Including Accounts of Swordfight, Mutiny, Shipwreck, Gold, War, Hurricane, and Discovery
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The Last Voyage of Columbus: Being the Epic Tale of the Great Captain's Fourth Expedition, Including Accounts of Swordfight, Mutiny, Shipwreck, Gold, War, Hurricane, and Discovery

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  623 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
The Year is 1500. Christopher Columbus, stripped of his title Admiral of the Ocean Seas, waits in chains in a Caribbean prison built under his orders, looking out at the colony that he founded, nurtured, and ruled for eight years. Less than a decade after discovering the New World, he has fallen into disgrace, accused by the royal court of being a liar, a secret Jew, and a ...more
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Published June 1st 2005 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2005)
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Ursula
I love books about explorers, for some reason - I've read about Magellan and Shackleton. I love books about ships - I really enjoy Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander series. I have no idea what it is that draws me to these sorts of topics, but it's no surprise that I picked this book up. So much more was going on with Columbus than just bumping around in the Caribbean looking for new lands - he was caught up in political plots much larger than himself, and just when he thought he would settl ...more
Thom
Jan 01, 2013 Thom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book starts with an overview of pre-voyage stuff that jumps around a bit in time - governor Columbus arrested and returned in chains to Spain; Columbus asking both Portugal and Spain to sponsor his first expedition; other expeditions (some launched by the Spanish sovereigns to avoid giving Columbus too much profit), etc. This portion is interesting and brings out the major players, even if it is a bit hard to follow.

The second section dives in to the fourth voyage and covers it in great det
...more
Robert Melnyk
Jul 13, 2013 Robert Melnyk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting and informative book on Columbus and his voyages. Before reading this book I basically knew, "in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." :-). This book went into great detail on not only Columbus, but also his relationship with his crew(s), Ferdinand and Isabella, as well as others. The details of his voyages, his explorations of new lands that he found, and his dealing with the native people was fascinating. For those of you intrigued by exploration and adventure, this is defini ...more
Christopher Rex
Apr 11, 2010 Christopher Rex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Columbus had said that his 4th Voyage was by far his best. This is an incredible tale by any standards. Love or hate Columbus, he pulled off some amazing feats and the 4th Voyage is no exception - nor is Columbus the only compelling character. Not by a long shot. Well worth reading. Gives a real appreciation of the difficulty of sea-exploration in the 15th-16thC. Anybody who likes adventure, history, the sea, sailing and/or the Caribbean will dig this book. I don't want to throw out spoilers, bu ...more
Dan
Nov 18, 2016 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
started off a bit slow, but once the story progressed into the actual voyage it was hard to put down. I learned a lot beyond "Columbus sailed the ocean blue" verbiage from elementary school. I read this after reading an outstanding book called "Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe" by Laurance Bergreen. Highly recommend both of these.
John
Dec 11, 2016 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, but how much was historical fiction and how much historical fact is a mystery.
Jason Golomb
I've read Martin Dugard before. His "Into Africa" traces Henry Morgan Stanley's search for British Explorer David Livingstone deep in the African jungle. "Farther Than Any Man" follows the career of Explorer James Cook. He wrote "The Murder of King Tut" with perennial fiction bestselling author James Patterson. While "Tut" is a bit of a mess and misses whatever target at which it's aiming, "Into Africa" is a thrilling ride, that's exhilarating to read and fulfilling to finish. "Farther Than Any ...more
Cindy
Feb 20, 2017 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Engaging; seems reliably researched, learned wome new things i.e. we don't know what Columbus really looked like bc no portrait was ever done of him ..this seems remarkable considering his fame
Dale
Jun 21, 2012 Dale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"He chose to live a bold life rather than settle for mediocrity"

Published by Back Bay Books in 2006.


"The only certainty about Columbus is that, for better or worse, he chose to live a bold life rather than settle for mediocrity." (p. 268)

That is how Dugard ends a lively and informative biography of Christopher Columbus (1451-1506). As the title indicates, Dugard focuses on the fourth voyage of Columbus and its successes and mishaps. In order to properly place this voyage in its correct context,
...more
Robert Fonseca
“The only certainty about Columbus is that for better or worse, he chose to live a bold life rather than settle for mediocrity.” This is the last line of the epilogue of the book, but it reminded me of why I enjoy reading and studying history. Reading the great stories and adventures of history are enjoyable in itself, but I find it more worthwhile and edifying when something I read changes, enhances, or encourages me in my own life. Dugard’s account of Columbus’ last voyage did just that. The l ...more
Joe
May 28, 2008 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. What a book. Buying this book, I really wasn't expecting much. I was hoping to gain a bit of knowledge about Christopher Columbus.

Not only did I get that, but more. This book truly reads like an adventure movie. It could easily be turned into an exciting movie, and most people wouldn't believe that it was based on truth.

An older man, Columbus was desperate to gain the glory that he once had when he first discovered the New World. He still believed that he could find a way to Asia by sailing
...more
djreggiereg Mas Reg
Columbus was unconcerned and uninterested in these wonders. His fear of returning to Spain empty-handed fueled a growing desperation. The only natural wonders he cared about were those interfering with his mission.

This is what blinds all explorers. Columbus and other explorers were searching for profit not to learn about other societies. Charles Darwin was one of the only explorers that I know truly looked to learn about society and how it operated. The only thing similar to Darwin and Columbus
...more
Louise
Dec 28, 2014 Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dugard avoided innumerable potential tangents to give us the benefit of his research into this last voyage.

I learned that info and mis-info about CC is not just a modern phenomenon. CC had a lot of enemies, and Dugard outlines a few, who benefited from having chaos surround his name. Dugard gives us facts.

You can certainly conclude that CC's skills as a mariner are unparralled for his time. His land administration skills, seemingly leave a lot be be desired, but his peers failed as well.

I lost c
...more
Tamara Vallejos
Aug 12, 2016 Tamara Vallejos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could hardly put this book down, it was so entertaining. I feel like I learned so much about what life was like for a sailor in the 1490s and early 1500s, which makes the "discovery" of the New World so much more impressive to me than ever before. I had no idea the insanities Columbus went through and surmounted above all odds, or the horrible legacy so many of his peers left behind when they sailed and colonized the New World immediately following his discovery (and simultaneous to his second ...more
Mike
Oct 27, 2007 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I enjoyed this portrayal of Columbus. Shows the many angles one could take when judging him for good or bad but mainly focuses on him in the midst of his life before history took over. He was a very capable captain and intelligent man dealing with weather prediction before barometers and navigation without telescopes along with keeping nearly continual mutinies at bay or minimized.

Oh the ironies and hypocrisies, we call red peppers such because Columbus wanted to bring pepper back to Spain but f
...more
Yumiko Hansen
Feb 05, 2017 Yumiko Hansen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This narrative reads so well one would think it was a work of fiction. The author has travelled to the places he has written about, and it SHOWS. Rich, lavish descriptions abound detailing not only the primary voyage (and the 3 others as well), but Spanish politics, ship exploration, native peoples, colonization, shipboard life (and death...) as well. The central spotlight never strays from Columbus though – and rightfully so. The nuances of this man are incredible – his life, the age, and what ...more
Jack
Nov 03, 2009 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I stumbled across this book on a Holland America Cruise--checked it out from the ship's library. It was a timely coincidence, since our ship left Spain and was headed to the Bahamas, not too far off from Columbus' original course!

If you ever wanted to be a 'fly on the wall' between conversations Columbus and the royals, this book will take you there. Not only did I learn about Columbus' drive to convince the King and Queen to finance one last voyage, but also how he ineracted with his crew, the
...more
Abram
Oct 16, 2008 Abram rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dugard does a fine job of shedding light on the man Columbus, "The Last Voyage of Columbus" seams to be based on factual events, this help to break through the hate Columbus rhetoric that is so common in our schools and universities today. Dugard paints a picture of a inspired and driven man that was undermined on all sides by power hungry aristocrats many of which were on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. The controversial subjects of our day such as slavery and genocide are ever present in ...more
Claudia
Aug 12, 2009 Claudia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OMG! I'm just a few pages away from finishing the book... I couldn't put it down but it made me late for work. :o/

This book is awesome! I love how at the beginning of the book, you basically get all the history facts about the discovery of America but not only that, you also get all the details and basically gossip of what and how the politics worked back then. Yeah! it was a bit of a slow start but I enjoyed it very much, because I'm a nerd like that. I like to learn the facts. But believe me,
...more
Sebastien Phaneuf
Jun 17, 2016 Sebastien Phaneuf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I pretty much had the worst opinion of Columbus imaginable before I read this. The last line of the book pretty much sums up what I think o him now: "He chose to live a bold life rather than settle for mediocrity." Just the fact that he had petitioned Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand for YEARS before (only to be rejected again and again) was shocking to me - most people would have given up immediately. He wouldn't take no for an answer. His fourth voyage was far more entertaining to read about ...more
Neil Pierson
Christopher Columbus:

a. Was the toast of Spain and the Spanish monarchy.

b. Was arrested and held in chains.

c. Was shipwrecked on an island for almost a year but managed to arrange for the rescue of himself and most of his crew while he suffered from malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and eye problems; and while some of his crew was trying to kill him.

d. Died a rich man.

e. All of the above.

Eventful life, no? It's inconceivable to me that after suffering the privations of his first voyage, he wo
...more
eric
Jul 15, 2007 eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
a well written and easily read history book dealing with columbus and the early explorers (conquerors) of the new world. dugard paints a such a vivid picture of the events surrounding columbus' life that at times i was left wondering if it could all be true. i am left thinking that the feat of the initial trans-atlantic crossings in this era required more courage than even the initial trips to the moon. at least in the case of the moon, one could see the destination from the outset, know the dis ...more
Dorthea Lee
Jul 05, 2016 Dorthea Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read

I gained an appreciation for Columbus that I did not have before reading this book. His name usually evoked contempt and anger over the treatment of the natives of the lands Columbus visited or attempted to settle. I had no idea he was treated so badly by many of the Spaniards. This historical account of his fourth voyage was plagued with just about every misfortune imaginable, from a Sailor's perspective. It was a year-long nightmare of tragic events.

I highly recommend the book. It's
...more
Brett
Jan 15, 2016 Brett rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this on recommendation of a friend. I was fascinated by the amount of detail there is on Columbus, particularly considering all I really knew was that "in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue." The first half of the book is a summary of his first three journeys, and it seemed like the author jumped around a lot as it was a somewhat difficult to follow. However, when he got into the fourth journey, I was quite fascinated by Columbus and what he went through. I must admit, I was a little bit s ...more
Yofish
Feb 27, 2009 Yofish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-on-tape
I learned a lot from this book. It follows Columbus from searching for money for his first voyage through his last (fourth) voyage, focusing on the last. (But it's only half the book.) The author is very pro-Columbus, and makes others (other explorers, the main bean-counter back in Spain, Ferdinand but Isabella less so) seem evil or foolish. CC was a terrible administrator, but a great seaman. Apparently had a good feeling for hurricanes before others really knew what they were. Used the solar e ...more
Kevin
This book ends up focusing on Columbus' last journey for most of the second half. The first half lays the groundwork for understanding the individuals and their motivations. The facts of the fourth and final voyage are pretty interesting, but some interesting and important events felt rushed (e.g. while marooned on Jamaica awaiting rescue, Columbus's men split into a group of mutineers and loyalists who eventually had a battle in the sand which lasted about two pages). Interesting book if you're ...more
Dean Peake
Jun 01, 2013 Dean Peake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Columbus made four voyages to the new world, looking for the elusive path to India. And on his last voyage he was struck with unbelievable hardship, mega storms, Indian attacks and shipwreck. Who knew?? They don't teach you this story in school. Columbus was shipwrecked for nearly a year, and was only saved due to an amazing rescue by one of his crew. This is an amazing read of an amazing true story by martin Dugard, the talent behind the Bill O'Rielly books 'Killing Lincoln' and 'Killing Kenned ...more
David Longo
Mar 31, 2015 David Longo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of books on Christopher Columbus and the prominent explorers of the Age of Discovery and this is my favorite. Martin Dugard knows his sailing---he used to write on the subject for Sports Illustrated. Those SI writers are quite gifted. No joke. Dugard presents a great adventure and teaches the reader a lot about The Admiral of the Ocean Sea. Yet he does it in a fresh, concise way. It's a quick and easy read, and a real page turner at that. I'd like to see Dugard cover Magellan or ...more
Diane
I thought I knew something about Columbus, but this book gave me the context of what was happening in the world (eg,I never realized the Spanish inquisition was going on while he was sailing the ocean blue), provided a picture of the politics of the period, and made Columbus a much realer and more complex person. I particularly enjoyed the information on sailing in the 15th century. Columbus truly was an excellent sailor who knew the sea and the weather and how ships worked. Will definitely read ...more
Brett
Apr 06, 2011 Brett rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, my-library
A soporific in writing. The material is interesting, but the whole story is told in a jerky parenthetical style. You're just about to learn something new and interesting when the author stops to fill you in on the situation, or past events that have created then present environment.

But the material is interesting! Columbus was far more capable and lead a life that was far more romantic than the public schools give us to believe.

I think if the author considers a re-arrangement and some fixes in t
...more
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The Last Voyage of Columbus 1 3 Jan 15, 2015 06:59AM  
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1549
New York Times bestselling author Martin Dugard is the co-author of Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy and Killing Jesus, written with noted television personality Bill O'Reilly. To date, there are more than seven million copies of these books in print.
Mr. Dugard is also the author of the critically lauded memoir To Be A Runner (Rodale, 2011), a series of essays which takes the reader around the wo
...more
More about Martin Dugard...

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