Books: Discoverer

COLUMBUS, DON QUIXOTE OF THE SEAS —Jacob Wassermann—Little, Brown ($3.50).

Columbus discovered a New World, and never knew it. Biographer Wassermann has taken this mystical-dogmatic adventurer as the prototype of Cervantes' famed Sorrowful Knight: he has made a good case.

Genoa claims the birth of Christobal Colon, so do six other towns. Columbus' early life is wrapped in obscurity. Says Wassermann: he told conflicting tales about his origins, his early experiences. "He was as morose as a monk, crafty as a peasant, without a glimmer of humor—a character unrelieved by a single...

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