The compelling tale of a rivalry that drove two unlikely explorers to the edge of a new world, informed by groundbreaking new research and superior narrative power.
The final decade of the 15th century was pivotal in world history. The Genoese mariner Christopher Columbus sailed westward into the Atlantic Ocean in 1492, determined to secure for Spain a more direct route to the riches of the Indies. But as Columbus struggled to capitalize on his momentous discovery of distant landfalls, a troubled Venetian bridge contractor in Spain, on the lam from creditors and remembered as John Cabot, audaciously reinvented himself as an explorer and mounted a rival quest for England.
In The Race to the New World, critically acclaimed author Douglas Hunter details the high-stakes race that threatened the precarious power balance of Europe and led both men to the shores of a new world that neither was looking for.
With the use of fresh historical evidence, Hunter tells an untold story of the parallel journeys of Columbus and Cabot -- two explorers whose interconnected lives are only fully understood together.
"...opens new windows on the history of exploration."
"[A]n intriguing account...Hunter turns what seems like a well-known story into something well worth exploring again."
"...When Hunter focuses on Columbus and Cabot, the reading is easy. The explorers are presented as not having the most sterling of characters -- Cabot, a self-taught engineer, took the money and ran after a bridge-building project he proposed proved beyond his capacity; Columbus kidnapped hundreds of slaves in the hope that their sale would dig him out of debt. The author builds a compelling case not only that the two mariners knew each other but also that Cabot had sailed on Columbus's second voyage...All in all, it's a well-researched story, fascinating in some places, slow going in others, but rewarding in the end."
"As this fascinating historical detective story unfolds, new pieces of an old puzzle are put into place, providing fresh perspective on the traditional discovery narrative...[an] important contribution to the scholarship of exploration history..."
“[A] fascinating story of political desperation and artful salesmanship amid a European struggle for wealth and power.”
"The Race to the New World is a painstaking work built to withstand the scrutiny of specialists...Hunter is a deft stylist witha keen eye for detail, and he brings his leading figures to life while transforming our understanding of early exploration. This one is a keeper."
"While not for beginner's, Hunter's book is a welcome addition...Highly Recommended."
"Douglas Hunter has produced yet another vivid, original narrative that brings to life a whole period while shedding new light on early explorers who sailed from Europe for the New World."
"Hunter is on track to become a major player in popular Canadian history."
"It is always a treat when new information on an interesting topic emerges, or likewise a new interpretation of existing facts. It is rare indeed to find both in the same book. Hunter delivers an intellectual and historical mystery sure to enthrall those interested in the early European exploration of the Americas."