Long before he made his fateful crossing of the Atlantic, Christopher Columbus learned his seamanship as a young man in the Mediterranean and then in the service of the King of Portugal. But soon his eyes turned to the ocean and what lay beyond. Opposition to his idea of finding the East by sailing west was based on differing ideas of the size and shape of the world. To the end of his days, Columbus insisted that where his ship came aground was in the Indies, even when it became clear to his contemporaries that they were in fact in an area of the world previously unknown to Europeans. Bradford portrays Columbus’s genius, stubbornness, greed, and stupidity, mixed with bravery and masterly navigation skills. A great book gives us a true and balanced portrait of a great explorer who forever changed the world.