The Men Who Found America
by F. W. Hutchinson
This book provides an excellent introduction to the exploration of the Americas. It provides adventure packed short biographies of Columbus, Cortez, Pizarro, Hudson, La Salle, Balboa, De Vaca, Raleigh, Champlain, and many others. The author is very even handed in his treatment of explorers and Indians, and makes moral distinctions between the most abusive conquistadors, and the relatively noble missionary explorers.
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