ISBN-13 : 979-8637551699
Table of Contents
Chapter One: What Type of Man Was Columbus?
Chapter Two: Attacks on Columbus by His Contemporaries
Chapter Three: No Peace Beyond the Grave
Chapter Four: The Best Defender of Columbus
Chapter Five: The Faithful Son
Chapter Six: The Testimony of The Early Chroniclers
Chapter Seven: The Making of a Hero
Chapter Eight: Taking the Hero Off of His Pedestal
Chapter Nine: Respect from a Fellow Sailor
Chapter Ten: The Challenge of the Revisionists and The Under-Celebrated Anniversary
Chapter Eleven: Recent Critics: Slavery and Other Controversies
Chapter Twelve: The Charges of Sex Crimes
Chapter Thirteen: How Then Shall We Teach the Children?
Chapter Fourteen: Hope for More Balanced Scholarship in the Future
Chapter Fifteen: Conclusions and Recommendations
Description: The character and conduct of Christopher Columbus has come under more criticism than almost any other historical figure. This book will outline the various forms of attack upon Columbus over the centuries. This is what I call the Columbus conspiracy. It is a systematic attempt to assassinate the character of Columbus by a long line of people not working in conjunction, but nonetheless building upon one another cumulatively over the years. From the contemporary enemies of Columbus who sought to steal his glory and his wealth to later historians who sought to impugn his reputation in response to the hero worship that grew up around him in the 19th and 20th centuries. Every aspect of Columbus life has come under attack from his origins, his study and preparations, his proposals for the great ventures of exploration, his claims of discovering America first, his conduct towards the Native Americans and the Spanish settlers, his endless quest to find gold, the nature and primacy of what he discovered, and his role in the history of slavery, genocide, and environmental destruction. His legacy has been contested in a literal, legal sense in a lawsuit between his heirs and those who wanted to steal his fame and wealth. These appeared in the Pleitos Colombinos, or Columbian Lawsuits, which are examined in this context in detail for the first time in this book. It has also been contested in the literary and historical sense by a long succession of historians, which has sought to make a name for themselves by digging up more dirt on Columbus and further discrediting him. Columbus has been called a lowborn, uneducated imposter, pirate, usurper, rapist, mass murderer, poor sailor, accidental discoverer, bumbling fool, tyrant, liar, greedy gold hunter, religious fanatic, hypocrite, evil slaver, bloodthirsty and indiscriminate killer, and raving lunatic. This is just to name a few of the attacks made on him. It is difficult to understand why a single man has drawn such opprobrium when similar contemporary historical figures are not as harshly criticized. It is equally difficult to understand why Columbus has been singled out as the sole individual origin of the sins of an entire generation in first exploiting and then wiping out the Native Americans that he encountered.All of the various attacks on Columbus over the centuries will be discussed in this work and thoughtful and well-researched rebuttals will be given to them, including to some of the most outrageous and unfair claims. The purpose of this book is not to defend Columbus, but to call for a more mature and balanced treatment of him by historians and the general public. This is not merely a Columbus apologist treatment. It is a plea that Columbus be understood in the context of his times and that his accomplishments be given equal weight with his faults.
I learned a lot from it, and it's thorough and judicious. It was very well-researched. I learned some things about Columbus that I did not know before. I am immensely impressed with what you've been writing and publishing.
David McNeil, Emeritus Professor of Renaissance Studies, San Francisco and San Jose State Universities
The Critics of Columbus is an entirely different approach to the subject. This book greatly helps to put the present storm of criticism in perspective. Mr. Di Giacomo's treatise on the subject of how critics have viewed Columbus over the past hundreds of years is concise, thorough, and beautifully written. Mr. Di Giacomo has made a scholarly study of written criticisms as well as defense activity from the days of Ferdinand and Isabella to the present. In the final chapter, Mr. Di Giacomo expresses the hope that future texts will treat Columbus fairly and within the the context of his day. Our society can admire his accomplishments and teach our children about them, while acknowledging the downside of global expansion. Linda Binkley
I fully agree with your observations related to the unjustified criticism by detractors with little or no knowledge of historical facts and especially by politicians pursuing their populist agenda re-writing history on the age of discovery. I am glad that you have taken the initiative to tell the truth on the way it is now and how it was.
It was very insightful and informative. As you pointed out, it is strange that the opprobrium of an entire generation has seized upon Columbus as a villain when, in fact, if others were held to the same criteria, they would be regarded with even greater scorn. I think Columbus was and is an easy target just because he was so revered. While I do not believe in hero-worship or glorification of historical figures, neither do I believe in demonization. As you so candidly put it, we should look honestly at our historical past-figures. It is not a terrible thing to look up to past-figures who have accomplished much. But neither is it a terrible thing to denounce those that created mayhem. There is good justification for dismantling the worship of historical figures such as confederate generals of our civil war. There is also good justification for keeping a fond remembrance of those that stood on the shoulders of others, like Columbus, so that we in turn can stand on their shoulders.Thank you for your presentation of facts and your insightful book.
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