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Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem

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Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

FIVE HUNDRED YEARS AFTER HE SET SAIL, the dominant understanding of Christopher Columbus holds him responsible for almost everything that went wrong in the New World. Here, finally, is a book that will radically change our interpretation of the man and his mission. Scholar Carol Delaney claims that the true motivation for Columbus's voyages is very different from what is commonly accepted. She argues that he was inspired to find a western route to the Orient not "only "to obtain vast sums of gold for the Spanish Crown but "primarily "to help fund a new crusade to take Jerusalem from the Muslims--a goal that sustained him until the day he died. Rather than an avaricious glory hunter, Delaney reveals Columbus as a man of deep passion, patience, and religious conviction.

Delaney sets the stage by describing the tumultuous events that had beset Europe in the years leading up to Columbus's birth--the failure of multiple crusades to keep Jerusalem in Christian hands; the devastation of the Black Plague; and the schisms in the Church. Then, just two years after his birth, the sacking of Constantinople by the Ottomans barred Christians from the trade route to the East and the pilgrimage route to Jerusalem. Columbus's belief that he was destined to play a decisive role in the retaking of Jerusalem was the force that drove him to petition the Spanish monarchy to fund his journey, even in the face of ridicule about his idea of sailing west to reach the East.

"Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem "is based on extensive archival research, trips to Spain and Italy to visit important sites in Columbus's life story, and a close reading of writings from his day. It recounts the drama of the four voyages, bringing the trials of ocean navigation vividly to life and showing Columbus for the master navigator that he was. Delaney offers not an apologist's take, but a clear-eyed, thought-provoking, and timely reappraisal of the man and his legacy. She depicts him as a thoughtful interpreter of the native cultures that he and his men encountered, and unfolds the tragic story of how his initial attempts to establish good relations with the natives turned badly sour, culminating in his being brought back to Spain as a prisoner in chains. Putting Columbus back into the context of his times, rather than viewing him through the prism of present-day perspectives on colonial conquests, Delaney shows him to have been neither a greedy imperialist nor a quixotic adventurer, as he has lately been depicted, but a man driven by an abiding religious passion.

Synopsis:

andlt;bandgt;and#8220;One of the 100 best books of the year.and#8221; and#8212;andlt;I andgt;The Times Literary Supplementandlt;/Iandgt;andlt;/bandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Five hundred years after he set sail, Columbus is still a controversial figure in history. Debates portray him either as the hero in the great drama of discovery or as an avaricious glory hunter and ruthless destroyer of indigenous cultures. In andlt;Iandgt;Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalemandlt;/Iandgt;, Carol Delaney offers a radically new interpretation of the man and his mission, claiming that the true motivation for his voyages is still widely unknown.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Delaney argues that Columbus was inspired to find a western route to the Orient andlt;Iandgt;not only andlt;/Iandgt;to obtain vast sums of gold for the Spanish Crown andlt;Iandgt;but primarily andlt;/Iandgt;to fund a new crusade to take Jerusalem from the Muslims before the end of the worldand#8212;a goal that sustained him until the day he died. Drawing from oft-ignored sources, some from Columbusand#8217;s own hand, Delaney depicts her subject as a thoughtful interpreter of the native cultures that he and his men encountered, and tells the tragic story of how his initial attempts to establish good relations with the natives turned badly sour. Showing Columbus in the context of his times rather than through the prism of present-day perspectives on colonial conquests reveals a man who was neither a greedy imperialist nor a quixotic adventurer, but a man driven by an abiding religious passion. andlt;Iandgt;Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem andlt;/Iandgt;is not an apologistand#8217;s take, but a clear-eyed, thought-provoking, and timely reappraisal of the man and his legacy.

Synopsis:

An extraordinary new examination of Christopher Columbus that shows him to have been a man of deep passion, patience, and religious conviction--a man determined to save Jerusalem from Islam.

Five hundred years after Columbus set off on his remarkable journey, debates about his legacy still rage. Once revered, he's now frequently held to have been destructive, reckless, and responsible for everything that went wrong in the New World. But scholar Carol Delaney offers a profoundly new evaluation of Columbus and the motivation for his famous voyages.

Putting the man back into the context of his times, Delaney shows that it was his abiding religious passion that drove him to petition the Spanish monarchy to support his journey. He and much of society believed that the end of the world was imminent and believed that Jerusalem needed to be back under Christian control before the end of days. Delaney asserts that--contrary to the belief that he sought personal wealth and advancement--Columbus's mission was to obtain enough gold for the Spanish crown to finance a new crusade to Jerusalem that could regain control of the holy city from the Muslims. Delaney recounts the drama of the four voyages, bringing the challenges vividly to life. She depicts Columbus as a thoughtful interpreter of the native cultures that he and his men encountered, explaining the tragic story of how his initial attempts to establish good relations turned badly sour.

Filled with illuminating research (informed by a fascinating stint Delaney spent as a sailor on a tall ship), Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem offers not an apologist's take, but a clear-eyed, thought-provoking, and timely reappraisal of the man and his mission.

About the Author

andlt;bandgt;Carol Delaneyandlt;/bandgt; received an MTS from Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Chicago and is a graduate of Boston University. She is now a professor emerita at Stanford University and a research scholar at Brown University.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781439109960
Subtitle:
How Religion Drove the Voyages that Led to America
Publisher:
Free Press
Author:
Delaney, Carol
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20120717
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Index/notes, illus t/o
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
222.25 x 144.462 x 25.4 mm 337.926 gr

Related Subjects

Biography » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 336 pages Free Press - English 9781439109960 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , andlt;bandgt;and#8220;One of the 100 best books of the year.and#8221; and#8212;andlt;I andgt;The Times Literary Supplementandlt;/Iandgt;andlt;/bandgt;andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Five hundred years after he set sail, Columbus is still a controversial figure in history. Debates portray him either as the hero in the great drama of discovery or as an avaricious glory hunter and ruthless destroyer of indigenous cultures. In andlt;Iandgt;Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalemandlt;/Iandgt;, Carol Delaney offers a radically new interpretation of the man and his mission, claiming that the true motivation for his voyages is still widely unknown.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Delaney argues that Columbus was inspired to find a western route to the Orient andlt;Iandgt;not only andlt;/Iandgt;to obtain vast sums of gold for the Spanish Crown andlt;Iandgt;but primarily andlt;/Iandgt;to fund a new crusade to take Jerusalem from the Muslims before the end of the worldand#8212;a goal that sustained him until the day he died. Drawing from oft-ignored sources, some from Columbusand#8217;s own hand, Delaney depicts her subject as a thoughtful interpreter of the native cultures that he and his men encountered, and tells the tragic story of how his initial attempts to establish good relations with the natives turned badly sour. Showing Columbus in the context of his times rather than through the prism of present-day perspectives on colonial conquests reveals a man who was neither a greedy imperialist nor a quixotic adventurer, but a man driven by an abiding religious passion. andlt;Iandgt;Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem andlt;/Iandgt;is not an apologistand#8217;s take, but a clear-eyed, thought-provoking, and timely reappraisal of the man and his legacy.
"Synopsis" by , An extraordinary new examination of Christopher Columbus that shows him to have been a man of deep passion, patience, and religious conviction--a man determined to save Jerusalem from Islam.

Five hundred years after Columbus set off on his remarkable journey, debates about his legacy still rage. Once revered, he's now frequently held to have been destructive, reckless, and responsible for everything that went wrong in the New World. But scholar Carol Delaney offers a profoundly new evaluation of Columbus and the motivation for his famous voyages.

Putting the man back into the context of his times, Delaney shows that it was his abiding religious passion that drove him to petition the Spanish monarchy to support his journey. He and much of society believed that the end of the world was imminent and believed that Jerusalem needed to be back under Christian control before the end of days. Delaney asserts that--contrary to the belief that he sought personal wealth and advancement--Columbus's mission was to obtain enough gold for the Spanish crown to finance a new crusade to Jerusalem that could regain control of the holy city from the Muslims. Delaney recounts the drama of the four voyages, bringing the challenges vividly to life. She depicts Columbus as a thoughtful interpreter of the native cultures that he and his men encountered, explaining the tragic story of how his initial attempts to establish good relations turned badly sour.

Filled with illuminating research (informed by a fascinating stint Delaney spent as a sailor on a tall ship), Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem offers not an apologist's take, but a clear-eyed, thought-provoking, and timely reappraisal of the man and his mission.

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