Amerigo: The Man Who Gave His Name to America by Felipe Fernández-Armesto

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By Felipe Fernández-Armesto

In 1507, the cartographer Martin Waldseemuller released an international 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 gorgeous luck and while Mercator`s 1538 international map prolonged the identify to the northern hemisphere of the continent, the recent identify was once safe. yet Waldseemuller quickly learned he had picked the inaccurate guy.

this is often the tale of the way one part of the area got here to be named now not after its discoverer Christopher Columbus, yet after his buddy and rival Amerigo Vespucci. Born in Florence in 1454, Vespucci had spent his adolescence 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 not less than voyages of his personal and explored the coast of present-day Brazil, he excelled particularly at self-invention and self-promotion. He observed himself as an explorer and navigator of genius, and his vibrant go back and forth writings bought 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 international heritage to lifestyles with brilliant descriptions of the folks and occasions that formed North the United States.

Praise for Amerigo:

"Amerigo Vespucci received his identify wear a number of continents in keeping with letters he may well by no means have written. however, he particularly was once a pimp, flimflam guy, diplomat, and company agent for the Medici." --Top 10 Biographies (US edition), <em>Booklist Magazine.</em>

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Que será, será and all that. Frankly, we were terrified. We had several sets of friends who had tried for months, years even, to conceive without luck and who had gradually taken their pitiful desperation public. At dinner parties they would talk obsessively about doctor’s visits, sperm counts, and timed menstrual cycles, much to the discomfort of everyone else at the table. I mean, what were you supposed to say? ” It was almost too painful to bear. We were scared to death we would end up joining them.

We were huge fans of the cartoon. Larson filled his panels with witty, urbane Labs doing and saying the darnedest things. Yes, they talked! What wasn’t to like? Labs were immensely amusing animals—at least in Larson’s hands. And who couldn’t use a little more amusement in life? We were sold. Now, as I pored through more serious works on the Labrador retriever, I was relieved to learn that our choice, however ill informed, was not too wildly off the mark. The literature was filled with glowing testimonials about the Labrador retriever’s loving, even-keeled personality, its gentleness with children, its lack of aggression, and its desire to please.

99 kit spread out on the side of the sink. I read the directions aloud. “Okay,” I said. “It says it’s accurate ninety-nine percent of the time. ” The next step was to dip a skinny plastic test strip into the urine and then into a small vial of a solution that came with the kit. “Wait five minutes,” I said. “Then we put it in the second solution for fifteen minutes. ” We timed off the first five minutes. ” We went out into the living room and made small talk, pretending we were waiting for something of no more significance than the teakettle to boil.

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