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Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America

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Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1507, European cartographers were struggling to redraw their maps of the world and to name the newly found lands of the Western Hemisphere. The name they settled on: America, after Amerigo Vespucci, an obscure Florentine explorer.

In Amerigo, the award-winning scholar Felipe Fernández-Armesto answers the question “What’s in a name?” by delivering a rousing flesh-and-blood narrative of the life and times of Amerigo Vespucci. Here we meet Amerigo as he really was: a sometime slaver and small-time jewel trader; a contemporary, confidant, and rival of Columbus; an amateur sorcerer who attained fame and honor by dint of a series of disastrous failures and equally grand self-reinventions. Filled with well-informed insights and amazing anecdotes, this magisterial and compulsively readable account sweeps readers from Medicean Florence to the Sevillian court of Ferdinand and Isabella, then across the Atlantic of Columbus to the brave New World where fortune favored the bold.

Amerigo Vespucci emerges from these pages as an irresistible avatar for the age of exploration–and as a man of genuine achievement as a voyager and chronicler of discovery. A product of the Florentine Renaissance, Amerigo in many ways was like his native Florence at the turn of the sixteenth century: fast-paced, flashy, competitive, acquisitive, and violent. His ability to sell himself–evident now, 500 years later, as an entire hemisphere that he did not “discover” bears his name–was legendary. But as Fernández-Armesto ably demonstrates, there was indeed some fire to go with all the smoke: In addition to being a relentless salesman and possibly a ruthless appropriator of other people’s efforts, Amerigo was foremost a person of unique abilities, courage, and cunning. And now, in Amerigo, this mercurial and elusive figure finally has a biography to do full justice to both the man and his remarkable era.

“A dazzling new biography . . . an elegant tale.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“An outstanding historian of Atlantic exploration, Fernández-Armesto delves into the oddities of cultural transmission that attached the name America to the continents discovered in the 1490s. Most know that it honors Amerigo Vespucci, whom the author introduces as an amazing Renaissance character independent of his name’s fame–and does Fernández-Armesto ever deliver.”

Booklist (starred review)

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

To commemorate the five hundredth anniversary of the naming of America, a portrait of the man who gave his name to the continents of the Western Hemisphere chronicles the life and times of Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci, an obscure adventurer, salesman, sorcerer, and relentless borrower of others' experiences and achievements. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.

Synopsis:

In Amerigo, the award-winning scholar Felipe Fernández-Armesto answers the question “What’s in a name?” by delivering a rousing flesh-and-blood narrative of the life and times of Amerigo Vespucci. Here we meet Amerigo as he really was: a rogue and raconteur who counted Christopher Columbus among his friends and rivals; an amateur sorcerer who attained fame and honor through a series of disastrous failures and equally grand self-reinventions. Filled with well-informed insights and amazing anecdotes, this magisterial and compulsively readable account sweeps readers from Medicean Florence to the Sevillian court of Ferdinand and Isabella, then across the Atlantic of Columbus to the brave New World where fortune favored the bold.

Amerigo Vespucci emerges from these pages as an irresistible avatar for the age of exploration–and as a man of genuine achievement as a voyager and chronicler of discovery. And now, in Amerigo, this mercurial and elusive figure finally has a biography to do full justice to both the man and his remarkable era.

Praise for Amerigo:

“Wonderfully idiosyncratic and intelligent.”

The New York Times Book Review

“Fascinating . . . [Fernández-Armesto’s] lively style is effective in evoking the flashy and violent world of Renaissance Europe.”

The Washington Post Book World

“An outstanding historian . . . [Fernández-Armesto] introduces Amerigo Vespucci as an amazing Renaissance character independent of his name’s fame–and does Fernández-Armesto ever deliver.”

Booklist (starred review)

“Dazzling . . . an elegant tale of Vespucci’s ability to transform himself from a merchant into an explorer and conqueror of new worlds.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST

About the Author

Felipe Fernández-Armesto, the Prince of Asturias Professor of History at Tufts University, is the author of several books, including The Americas, Millennium, Columbus, and Near a Thousand Tables: A History of Food. He is the recipient of many honors and awards, including the Cairo Medal, the John Carter Brown Medal, and the Premio Nacional de Investigación of Spain’s Sociedad Geográfica Española. His work has appeared in twenty-four languages, and his journalism and broadcasts appear frequently in Spanish and British media.

From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents

The sorcerer's apprenticeship — The prospect from exile — The stargazer at sea — The spellbinder's books — Prospero prefigured — The conjurer's stage.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307512550
Subtitle:
The Man Who Gave His Name to America
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Author:
Fernandez-Armesto, Felipe
Author:
Fernandez-Armesto, Felipe
Subject:
Art : General
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography : Historical - General
Subject:
History : United States - General
Subject:
Americas (North Central South West Indies)
Subject:
World - General
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Adventurers & Explorers
Subject:
Explorers
Subject:
Italian
Subject:
Explorers -- Portugal.
Subject:
Explorers -- America.
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Subject:
Geography-Mapping and Cartography
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20080812
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
272

Related Subjects

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

Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 272 pages Random House Publishing Group - English 9780307512550 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , To commemorate the five hundredth anniversary of the naming of America, a portrait of the man who gave his name to the continents of the Western Hemisphere chronicles the life and times of Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci, an obscure adventurer, salesman, sorcerer, and relentless borrower of others' experiences and achievements. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.
"Synopsis" by , In Amerigo, the award-winning scholar Felipe Fernández-Armesto answers the question “What’s in a name?” by delivering a rousing flesh-and-blood narrative of the life and times of Amerigo Vespucci. Here we meet Amerigo as he really was: a rogue and raconteur who counted Christopher Columbus among his friends and rivals; an amateur sorcerer who attained fame and honor through a series of disastrous failures and equally grand self-reinventions. Filled with well-informed insights and amazing anecdotes, this magisterial and compulsively readable account sweeps readers from Medicean Florence to the Sevillian court of Ferdinand and Isabella, then across the Atlantic of Columbus to the brave New World where fortune favored the bold.

Amerigo Vespucci emerges from these pages as an irresistible avatar for the age of exploration–and as a man of genuine achievement as a voyager and chronicler of discovery. And now, in Amerigo, this mercurial and elusive figure finally has a biography to do full justice to both the man and his remarkable era.

Praise for Amerigo:

“Wonderfully idiosyncratic and intelligent.”

The New York Times Book Review

“Fascinating . . . [Fernández-Armesto’s] lively style is effective in evoking the flashy and violent world of Renaissance Europe.”

The Washington Post Book World

“An outstanding historian . . . [Fernández-Armesto] introduces Amerigo Vespucci as an amazing Renaissance character independent of his name’s fame–and does Fernández-Armesto ever deliver.”

Booklist (starred review)

“Dazzling . . . an elegant tale of Vespucci’s ability to transform himself from a merchant into an explorer and conqueror of new worlds.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST

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