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The Myth of America: This is not your grandfather’s Columbus

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To mark Columbus Day In 2004, the Medieval and Renaissance Center in UCLA published the final volume of a compendium of Columbus-era documents. Its general editor, Geoffrey Symcox, leaves little room for ambivalence when he says, “This is not your grandfather’s Columbus….

While giving the brilliant mariner his due, the collection portrays Columbus as an unrelenting social climber and self-promoter who stopped at nothing - not even exploitation, slavery, or twisting biblical scripture - to advance his ambitions…. Many of the unflattering documents have been known for the last century or more, but nobody paid much attention to them until recently.

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