By Felipe Fernández-Armesto
In 1507, the cartographer Martin Waldseemuller released a global map with a brand new continent on it which he referred to as "America," after the explorer and navigator Amerigo Vespucci. The map used to be a wonderful good fortune and whilst Mercator`s 1538 international 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 now not after its discoverer Christopher Columbus, yet after his good friend and rival Amerigo Vespucci. Born in Florence in 1454, Vespucci had spent his early life as a broker or agent for the nice Medici relatives. Then in 1491, he his fellow Italian Columbus to Seville. In Seville, Vespucci endured as a Florentine agent, but additionally helped Columbus get his ships prepared for his moment and 3rd voyages. even though Amerigo himself later sailed on at the least voyages of his personal and explored the coast of present-day Brazil, he excelled certainly 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 heritage to existence with shiny descriptions of the folk and occasions that formed North the US.
Praise for Amerigo:
"Amerigo Vespucci acquired his identify wear a few continents in line with letters he may possibly by no means have written. however, he quite used to be a pimp, flimflam guy, diplomat, and company agent for the Medici." --Top 10 Biographies (US edition), <em>Booklist Magazine.</em>
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Additional resources for Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America
Inside the dark living room, I brush against the light switches, but they are already on. I’d left them on permanently, fanatical guardians against invasion, and now the bulbs have burned out. In the kitchen, two of the three bulbs come on before one pops and flashes off. Shadows press in. The illuminated countertop, the way that one bulb reflects off those islands in the shadows, seems so ineffectual; any second, the room could go dark, erased entirely. I know there is no one crouching outside in the bushes, or in here, in a closet, but the spaces and possibilities haunt me anyway, the idea that there is room in closets and behind bushes to hide a person, room in a brain to conceal memories.
So he was an electrical engineer, I concluded. But he would not be pinned down. His degree was in math and physics, not engineering, so though he held a job exactly like that of an electrical engineer, he could not accurately be called one, he said. 27 28 After the Flashlight Man When I moved to Springfield, the old roles rapidly restored themselves: Dad was still the Keeper of Secrets, the Guardian of Memory, the Repository of Knowledge. One day, I arrived at the lake house and found my mom, aunts, and cousins all wearing Band-Aids in the exact same spot directly above their left ankles.
On Highway 76, traffic came to a standstill, and the air was sweet with funnel cake and cotton candy. There was never a burned-out bulb in signs for go-carts and bumper cars and miniature golf courses and water parks and 3-D movies, for the Elvis-A-Rama, a 100-foot mural depicting scenes from his life. Signs for hotels and restaurants and country music theaters throbbed with lights and sparkled with sequins: the Baldknobbers Hillbilly Jamboree, the Foggy River Boys, Boxcar Willie, Mickey Gilley’s Family Theatre.
Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America by Felipe Fernández-Armesto