Ideas: Good Guy or Dirty Word?

Revisionists see Christopher Columbus as a precursor of ecological despoliation and Indian genocide

"No man has done more to change the course of human history than Christopher Columbus." That was the conclusion of Edward Channing's 1905 classic, History of the United States. To generations of American schoolchildren, Columbus has been the all-time heroic figure portrayed by Channing and, more romantically, by Washington Irving in 1828: "a man of great and inventive genius" whose "ambition was lofty and noble." No wonder that Pope Pius IX wanted to make the discoverer of America a saint, or that more places in the English- speaking world are named for the Admiral of the Ocean Sea than for any...

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