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Toward the Setting Sun: Columbus, Cabot, Vespucci, and the Race for America

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  53 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
The untold story of the rivalries and alliances between Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, and John Cabot during the Age of Exploration.
When Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1453, the long-established trade routes to the East became treacherous and expensive, forcing merchants of all sorts to find new ways of obtaining and trading their goods. Enterprising
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published June 10th 2008 by Walker Books
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Oct 15, 2014 Landofhistory rated it really liked it
There need to be more narrative histories of the 15th century. In my opinion Europe had not seen so much change and upheaval since the fall of Rome as it did in this turbulent time.
This was a period defined by immense change and progress, a time of cataclysmic warfare, of the Renaissance and of world changing discoveries. Few eras have such a resonating echo down to modern times, and few events such an impact as the European discovery of America.

In David Boyle’s “Towards the Setting Sun” you get
Gerald Sinstadt
Jul 11, 2012 Gerald Sinstadt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Who discovered America? Christppher Columbus. Everyone says so. Anyway, I've seen the statue in Barcelona where he stands gazing out across the ocean.

Time for a rethink.

David Boyle's wonderful book first establishes that this is a tangled subject and then proceeds to unravel the strands with thrilling dexterity. The time is towards the end of the 15th Century. The motivation is the urge to bypass the long and winding trail of many hands that brings coveted spices from Asia. The world is only ver
Mar 13, 2009 Sarah rated it it was ok
The thesis of this book os that Cabot, Columbus, and Vespucci were collaborators and that they should be studies together rather than separately. However, Boyle spends most of the book discussing each man separately. While he indicates that Cabot and Columbus were co-investors at one point and that Vespuci was financially involved in some of Columbus' voyages, he does not spend any time building a true relationship betweent he me, analyzing their relationships or directly discussing the ...more
Apr 26, 2016 Mr. G COLVILLE rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three lives

The author has a very detailed historical account of these three explorers which has revealed many facts new to me. I had anticipated an enjoyable read but I'm afraid my enjoyment was spoiled by the inclusion in the text of far too many typos. I lost count of the times the word 'be' was shown incorrectly as 'he' and other words beginning with 'b' also suffered similarly, e.g. 'hankers' instead of 'bankers.' The author's 'brilliant editor' has done him a great disservice by missing so
Sep 22, 2011 Richie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall this was a decent book. I have read a few books on Columbus now. However, until I had read this book I had no idea that Columbus, Vespucci, and Cabot were so closely inter-related to one another. This book is partly theoretical as with almost any book on early explorers as certain aspects of their lives and progress are unknown. One can only make educated assumptions based on known facts surrounding the times much in the same way a crime is solved based on clues. The book went on a ...more
Mar 12, 2009 FrankO rated it did not like it
I was very interested in the view that this book presents about the rivalries and interactions among Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, and Amerigo Vespucci. However, I was constantly getting lost in details that I didn't understand or wasn't remembering from several pages previous.

If I hadn't recently traveled to Turkey there would have been a few things in the early part of the book that I wouldn't have comprehended. Also, the lack of maps in the book was a bit frustrating. Maybe if I had spent
L. (Climbing Mt. TBR one page at a time)
On the one hand I enjoyed David Boyle's writing style. The pace never slacked, he engaged me in the story, and there were lots of trivia and footnotes which I'm a sucker for.

Having said that, though, the main reason Boyle wrote this book was to convince me, the reader, that the legendary Christopher Columbus, John Cabot and Amerigo Vespucci not only knew each other, they were working together under a super secret pact of discovery and exploitation. The book is liberally peppered with "Maybe," "M
Apr 16, 2012 José rated it it was ok
My mind kept wandering as I tried to slog through this rather comprehensive account of the lives of Columbus, Vespucci, and Cabot (three Italian merchants at the heart of the age of exploration). Boyle might be a great researcher, but I give him poor marks as a storyteller, and I am afraid a historian needs to be able to master both skills.
William Gill
Apr 05, 2015 William Gill rated it really liked it
Very interesting - draws on new information and spins an intertwined theory of collaborative exploration that made me wonder why I was reading it for the first time.
Dec 08, 2014 Gill rated it really liked it
This may actually really be a three star book, but the subject matter fitted I with what I was very interested in at this time, and I found it fascinating.
Jen Mahoney
Apr 09, 2009 Jen Mahoney rated it liked it
Very nice link between big thinking, desperate economies and the random inventions that instigate global change.
James Fountain
Feb 10, 2015 James Fountain rated it really liked it
amazing story behind de Gama, columbus, vespuchi, cabot and the politics of the Tordesillus line and the uphevals created by descovery of the new world.
Ɠяαcє O'Ɓяιєη➵Sσмєтιмєѕ Qυιєт ιѕ ƲισƖєηт
Again, I needed to use this book for National History Day. It wasn't really as interesting as the book Amerigo.
Alex Ilushik
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Mar 08, 2016
Joseph Landau
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Dec 31, 2015
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Feb 11, 2015
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Jan 15, 2011
Becky rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2014
Julie rated it really liked it
Feb 06, 2016
Aug 27, 2015 Rosemary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Great read!!!
Frank Klus
Frank Klus rated it really liked it
Sep 27, 2013
Timothy rated it liked it
Feb 25, 2012
Kazi Hassan
Kazi Hassan rated it it was amazing
Apr 16, 2015
Owen Wilding
Owen Wilding rated it really liked it
Apr 21, 2014
Jennifer rated it really liked it
Mar 10, 2012
Janie B
Janie B rated it it was ok
Jan 17, 2014
F. Don James
F. Don James rated it it was amazing
Nov 26, 2016
Mark rated it really liked it
Dec 08, 2014
Patrick Feeley
Patrick Feeley rated it really liked it
Jan 04, 2014
Suz rated it it was ok
May 17, 2012
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David Boyle is the author of Blondel’s Song: The capture, imprisonment and ransom of Richard the Lionheart, and a series of books about history, social change and the future. His book Authenticity: Brands, Fakes, Spin and the Lust for Real Life helped put the search for authenticity on the agenda as a social phenomenon. The Tyranny of Numbers and The Sum of Our Discontent predicted the backlash ag ...more
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