Toward the Setting Sun: Columbus, Cabot, Vespucci and the Race for America
By David Boyle
They were the three giants of the Age of Exploration.
And John Cabot.
After Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1453, old trade routes became too dangerous, and new routes were needed.
Enterprising young men took to the sea in search of new lands, new routes, and new markets – and of course the possibility of glory and vast fortunes.
Cabot, Columbus, and Vespucci were at the forefront of that search.
They not only knew of each other – they were well acquainted.
They collaborated, knew of each other’s ambitions, and followed each other’s progress. As each attempted to curry favor with monarchs across Europe, they used news of the others’ successes and failures to further their claims and to garner backing from investors.
Amid the intrigue, espionage, and treachery of the courts of the great powers of Europe, they were sometimes rivals, and sometimes allies, in launching the great voyages that would transform the world.
In ‘Toward the Setting Sun: Columbus, Cabot, Vespucci, and the Race for America’ David Boyle tells the dramatic story of that race for riches and glory — and reveals that the race was, in fact, as much about commerce and trade as it was about discovery and conquest.
It is the first history of the discovery that tells the compelling story of all three of the pioneers of the 1490s, and how they were linked to one another.
“Toward the Setting Sun” succeeds in painting vivid portraits of the three main players, showing them as less heroic than the classic image, but also more human and accessible to modern readers.”
— Washington Post
David Boyle is a British author and journalist who writes mainly about history and new ideas in economics, money, business and culture. He lives in Crystal Palace, London. His latest book is ‘Broke: Who Killed The Middle Classes’.
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