Christopher Columbus and the Conquest of Paradise
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Christopher Columbus and the Conquest of Paradise

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  68 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Christopher Columbus' arrival on a small Bahamian island in 1492 is often judged to be a defining moment in the history of mankind, changing forever the map of the world. Kirkpatrick Sale offers readers a unique take on Columbus and his legacy, separating the man from the legend. Sale also looks at the global consequences of the discovery, revealing the colossal impact thi
Paperback, Second Edition, 464 pages
Published August 8th 2006 by Tauris Parke Paperbacks (first published 1990)
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I am reading Kirkpatrick Sales' 'Christopher Columbus and the Conquest of Paradise' at the moment. This could be called a 'revisionist' interpretation of the the famous 1492 voyage of discovery of the Caribbean (and subsequently of the Americas) by Columbus. Its revisionist because the author writes about the ecological destruction of the the Caribbean islands, the effect it had on the native Tainos, who were initially praised by Columbus as of being a peaceful race and who later became chastise...more
H Wesselius
Succeeds in breaking the Columbus myth through a detailed sometimes dense account of his life and accomplishments. The book could easily be two books one on Columbus and the other on his legacy especially in the US. His attempt to assert an almost black-white difference between Europeans as unique exploiters and the natives as guardians of nature is too stark and simplistic. In many cases, the Europeans are too incompetent to fulfill his description and given the history of other Empires ( ferti...more
A spittingly liberal history of Columbus' voyages and their lasting after-effects, replete with galling period documentation that reveals that Columbus was very much a man of his era.

Would be a five-star review (as it was truly eye-opening when I read it twenty years ago) but for the vitriol that sometimes colors Sale's account. He is indignant about the depredations of Columbus and everyone after, and it can sometimes be hard to see past his fury.

A great but sometimes insufferable book.
Jeff Hudson
The book mixes in historical documents, historical facts and historical interpretations of the events surrounding the conquest of the New World.

The book moves from the Spanish conquest of the New World to how those events influenced and shaped England's transformation of the world.

I finally finished this book and can only recommend it to those who want a serious look at the aftermath of the "encounter" of 1492.
Really quite good. It's a bit of a mess, but a passionate and well-written one.
A good background book of how the Europeans came to dominate the Americas.
Shaunessy Mckay
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