By Felipe Fernández-Armesto
In 1507, the cartographer Martin Waldseemuller released an international map with a brand new continent on it which he known as "America," after the explorer and navigator Amerigo Vespucci. The map was once a wonderful good fortune and whilst Mercator`s 1538 global map prolonged the identify to the northern hemisphere of the continent, the hot identify was once safe. yet Waldseemuller quickly learned he had picked the inaccurate guy.
this can be the tale of ways one aspect of the realm got here to be named no longer after its discoverer Christopher Columbus, yet after his pal and rival Amerigo Vespucci. Born in Florence in 1454, Vespucci had spent his early life as a broker or agent for the good Medici relations. Then in 1491, he his fellow Italian Columbus to Seville. In Seville, Vespucci persevered as a Florentine agent, but additionally helped Columbus get his ships prepared for his moment and 3rd voyages. even supposing Amerigo himself later sailed on no less than voyages of his personal and explored the coast of present-day Brazil, he excelled peculiarly at self-invention and self-promotion. He observed himself as an explorer and navigator of genius, and his vibrant commute writings offered far better than these of Columbus. He turned Pilot significant of Spain in 1508 and died in 1512.
Felipe Fernandez-Armesto brings this adventurous interval in global background to lifestyles with bright descriptions of the folk and occasions that formed North the United States.
Praise for Amerigo:
"Amerigo Vespucci acquired his identify wear a number of continents in accordance with letters he may well by no means have written. however, he quite was once a pimp, flimflam guy, diplomat, and enterprise agent for the Medici." --Top 10 Biographies (US edition), <em>Booklist Magazine.</em>
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Extra resources for Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America
When a little genius named Norman skipped a year and was placed in my class, he and I would race to finish the assigned page of math problems first—glancing occasionally at one another’s paper to see who had the lead. As a bookish child, I was also an above-average reader and writer. Some time that year an IQ test was administered to the entire class, and I did very well on it. Whatever my IQ was, it proved good enough to catapult me into the small stream of students earmarked for “rapid advance” junior high school, in which, together with other top students, one skipped the eighth grade.
Apparently, though, it denied me neither nourishment nor satisfaction, for I grew into a chubby, inquisitive, blond-haired toddler, doted on by parents and relatives. Both my head and my skin were very light—so much so that mosquitoes would move unerringly toward my head, apparently unable to distinguish between my hair and my scalp. Although my father continued his underpaid legal work on a full-time basis—in his own law practice (first established in 1940), for a law firm, and as a full-time lawyer for small businesses—off the job he was very much a family man.
Unmarried and childless, “Uncle Fred” apparently viewed me as a surrogate son. After Fred’s death years later, my father discovered a framed picture of Fred and me that he displayed on his desk. S. 217. When a little genius named Norman skipped a year and was placed in my class, he and I would race to finish the assigned page of math problems first—glancing occasionally at one another’s paper to see who had the lead. As a bookish child, I was also an above-average reader and writer. Some time that year an IQ test was administered to the entire class, and I did very well on it.
Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America by Felipe Fernández-Armesto