Mapping Christopher Columbus

An Historical Geography of His Early Life to 1492

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About the Book

The impact of Christopher Columbus’s first transatlantic voyage launched an unprecedented explosion of European exploration. Throughout the last 500 years, scholars have recognized this transforming event, and they have written extensively on the subject. To date, no American author has dedicated a book to Columbus’s life before 1492. This biography does so, with a focus on geographical experiences that affected his formulation of a transatlantic concept.
Incorporating extensive research from American and European scholars (historians, geographers, anthropologists, and cartographers), the author proposes that Columbus systematically built a transatlantic voyage proposal from knowledge gained on previous voyages in the Mediterranean Sea and Eastern Atlantic Ocean. The book’s extensive use of maps place Columbus’s actions on specific land and ocean locations. Persons interested in gleaning more information about Columbus’s maritime background will find a plethora of maps to visualize the extent of his early travels.

About the Author(s)

Al M. Rocca is a professor emeritus of history and education at Simpson University in Redding, California. He has taught as an adjunct professor in history and geography at California State University, Monterey Bay. He served as editor of the Social Studies Review (California Council for the Social Studies) for many years and served as a member on several statewide committees constructing or reviewing history and social science educational materials and programs. He lives in Chico, California.

Bibliographic Details

Al M. Rocca
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 90 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8755-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4806-4
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Mapping Christopher Columbus is a valuable addition to the literature. In great detail, Rocca explains how Columbus became certain that he could reach the Orient by sailing west.”—Simonetta Conti, professor emeritus, University of Campania, Italy

• “By showing the evolving conceps of geography available to Columbus, Rocca’s Mapping Christopher Columbus provides a wonderful background to his voyages. It should be read by all those interested in the man.”—Carol Delaney, author, Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem

• “Rocca demonstrates through in-depth analysis that it was essentially the navigation experiences before the first transatlantic voyage that allowed Columbus to build and improve, little by little, his project Mapping Christopher Columbus is a new, significant, and useful contribution to Colombian historiography”—Ilaria Caraci, University of Rome, Tres

• “Rocca does an excellent job showing the moral quagmire in which Columbus found himself. Here I see a man with a moral compass having to deal with the Amerindians’ cultural history of slavery, the destruction of La Navidad, and Spanish leaders entrusted to carry out Columbus’s rule to treat natives fairly and humanely.”—Robert Stevens, University of Texas at Tyler

• “Rocca identifies the most scientifically significant topics and expresses even difficult ideas with clarity; even the geographical maps that accompany the text are excellent from every point of view: clear, easy to understand and created with great geographical competence.”—Carla Masetti, University of Rome, Tres

• “A valuable addition to the literature about Columbus. I have read [Samuel Eliot] Morison’s book and the works of many others, but none of them fully explain how Columbus became so certain that he could reach the Orient by sailing west. You do.”—Joe Scafetta, author, The True and Complete Story of Christopher Columbus