The Conquest of Paradise: Christopher Columbus and the Columbian Legacy

Kirkpatrick Sale, Author Knopf Publishing Group $30 (453p) ISBN 978-0-394-57429-5
Sale views Columbus as seed-bearer of a European civilization of conquest, violence, ecological plunder and intolerance. Cast as a magnificent voyage of discovery into Columbus's psyche and the character of the New World, this demythologizing biographical adventure profiles an isolated, unattached explorer given to self-deception, full of millennial obsessions about the end of the world. Sale ( Human Scale ) credits Columbus with the birth of American slavery and of Euro-colonialism. Examining Jamestown, ``the second successful invasion of America,'' and its aftermath, he explores how native North American societies, for the most part peaceful and communitarian, were devastated by epidemics and whites' encroachments with attendant environmental destruction. His wide-angled history represents a major rethinking of the relationship between Europe and America. BOMC and QPB alternates. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-452-26669-8
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