Controversial Explorer of the Americas
Hero or Villain? Claims and Counterclaims
Reading Level: 8
Interest Level: 7-12
Few people in history have had as significant an impact on the shaping of multiple cultures as Christopher Columbus, the explorer who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492 in search of a sea route from Europe to Asia. He has been widely admired throughout history for his persistence, courage, charisma, and impressive nautical and navigational skills, particularly considering his lack of formal education. However, he has been the target of significant criticism due to his perceived cruelty toward the native inhabitants of the islands he discovered, his ineptitude at governing the colony he founded, and his tendency toward dishonesty and manipulation of others when it suited his purposes. This book seeks to provide the reader with a balanced perspective of Columbus's personality, achievements, and far-reaching effects on cultures on both sides of the Atlantic.