The Race to the New World

Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, and a Lost History of Discovery

Douglas Hunter

Palgrave Macmillan Trade

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Every schoolchild knows that "in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue"—but what they don't teach you in history class is that he wasn't the only one. In The Race to the New World, Douglas Hunter tells for the first time the fascinating tale of how Christopher Columbus was embroiled in a high-stakes race with Venetian John Cabot to find a shortcut to the East—and how they found a New World that neither was looking for. Employing fresh research and new translations of critical documents, Hunter reveals the surprisingly intertwined lives of the fabled explorer and his forgotten rival, and provides a fresh perspective on the first years of the European discovery of the New World.

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Reviews

Praise for The Race to the New World

“A fascinating story of political desperation and artful salesmanship amid a European struggle for wealth and power.”--The Washington Post
"An intriguing and surprising new twist on the old subject . . . Other historians have paralleled the voyages of Columbus and Cabot, but Hunter interweaves their stories and places them firmly into the complex geopolitical landscape of Renaissance Europe . . . As this fascinating historical detective story unfolds, new pieces of an old puzzle are put into place, providing fresh perspective on the traditional discovery narrative. [An] important contribution to the scholarship of exploration history." --Booklist
 
"Hunter puts together an intriguing account from an international cooperative research effort among historians to reconstruct sources that were either destroyed or lost ... [He] turns what seems like a well-known story into something well worth exploring again." --Kirkus Reviews
 
"Using fresh archival evidence, Hunter expertly recounts Columbus insinuating his way into the Spanish court of Fernando and Isabel through marriage, and Cabot's escape from a bridge-building scheme turned bad in Venice into the arms of an England lusting after the riches attained by ocean exploration ... In a fresh account, Hunter recovers the life and broken career of Martin Behaim, who built one of the first globes and likely fashioned Cabot's proposed route to Asia." --Publishers Weekly
“[Hunter brings] greater clarity to the era of Christopher Columbus…A welcome addition…Highly recommend.”--Choice

"Douglas Hunter has produced yet another vivid, original narrative that brings to life a whole period while shedding new light on early explorers who sailed from Europe for the New World. Exhaustively researched, authoritative:  I wish I’d written this one!"--Ken McGoogan, Author of Fatal Passage and Race to the Polar Sea

"It is always a treat when new information on an interesting topic emerges, or likewise a new interpretation of existing facts. It is rare indeed to find both in the same book... Hunter delivers... an intellectual and historical mystery sure to enthral those interested in the early European exploration of the Americas." --Stephen R. Bown, Author of Merchant Kings: When Companies Ruled the World, 1600-1900 and 1494: How a Family Feud in Medieval Spain Divided the World in Half.

"[An] absolutely splendid exposition on the initial European probes that opened the New World... The major and peripheral characters in this intriguing drama are brought to life with unusual clarity... A well researched and clearly written account of the Columbus and Cabot voyages of discovery... stitched into the broader diplomatic and mercantile context of the period." --Conrad E. Heidenreich, Professor Emeritus at York University, co-author of Samuel de Champlain Before 1604


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About the Author

Douglas Hunter

Douglas Hunter is the author of Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage that Redrew the Map of the New World, and God's Mercies: Rivalry, Betrayal, and the Dream of Discovery, a finalist for both the Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize and the Governor-General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction. He was awarded Canada's National Business Book Award for The Bubble and the Bear: How Nortel Burst the Canadian Dream. He is a doctoral candidate in history at York University, and is one of Canada's Vanier Scholars and the 2012 recipient of the William E. Taylor Fellowship, which recognizes Canada's outstanding doctoral candidate in social sciences and the humanities.

Douglas Hunter

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Race to the New World
Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, and a Lost History of Discovery
Douglas Hunter

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
Palgrave Macmillan Trade
October 2012
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780230341654
ISBN10: 0230341659
5 5/8 x 8 7/8 inches, 288 pages
$17.00

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
Palgrave Macmillan Trade
September 2011
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780230110113
ISBN10: 0230110118
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 288 pages, 2 maps
$27.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Palgrave Macmillan Trade
September 2011
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9780230340527
ISBN10: 0230340520
6.125 x 9.250 inches, 288 pages, 2 maps
$9.99
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