Books: Cheering on the Salts

THE EUROPEAN DISCOVERY OF AMERICA: THE NORTHERN VOYAGES by Samuel Eliot Morison. 712 pages. Oxford University Press. $15.

So now you know, unless you're a fool, That they told you all wrong, when you studied at school!—Samuel Eliot Morison

Like the Ancient Mariner he is, Samuel Eliot Morison stoppeth one of three—among the myths that pass for history in the European discovery of America. As a seagoing admiral, U.S.N.R. (and Harvardman), Morison gives the back of his salty hand to those modern "library navigators" (particularly Yalemen) who in 1965 swallowed whole the Vinland map...

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