The Race to the New World
Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, and A Lost History of DiscoveryBook - 2011
Describes the voyages and discoveries of Christopher Columbus and John Cabot and how their rivalry threatened the diplomatic balance that existed in Europe.
The final decade of the fifteenth century was a turning point in world history. The Genoese mariner Christopher Columbus sailed westward on the Atlantic Ocean in 1492, famously determined to discover for Spain a shorter and more direct route to the riches of the Indies. Meanwhile, a fellow Italian explorer for hire, John Cabot, set off on his own journey, under England's flag. Here, Douglas Hunter tells the fascinating tale of how, during this expedition, Columbus gained a rival. In the space of a few critical years, these two men engaged in a high-stakes race that threatened the precarious diplomatic balance of Europe-to exploit what they believed was a shortcut to staggering wealth. Instead, they found a New World that neither was looking for. Hunter provides a revelatory look at how the lives of Columbus and Cabot were interconnected, and how neither explorer can be understood properly without understanding both. Together, Cabot and Columbus provide a novel and important perspective on the first years of European experience of the New World.