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- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
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- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Laurence Bergreen
To recall Samuel Eliot Morison's generation-old writings about Christopher Columbus and the Age of Exploration is to summon up memories of arid and aristocratic history written with his signature hauteur. Laurence Bergreen's new book, refreshingly, is fluid in its style and comprehensive in its research.
Three years after returning home from his fabulous 24-year journey to the East, Marco Polo, a Venetian naval commander captured by the Genoese in 1298, found himself sharing a cell with a Tuscan romance writer, Rustichello of Pisa, who was looking for a way to while away the time in prison. Their only common language was French, and thus, suggests historian Laurence Bergreen, Marco Polo's famous "Travels" was originally composed in, essentially, fractured French.
Elsewhere Mr. Bergreen writes, "His was the discovery that permanently planted the reality of the New World in the imagination and political schemes of the Old.... Columbus' voyages were just the beginning, setting in motion consequences - political, cultural and scientific - that persist to this day."
Mr. Bergreen says Columbus was an evangelist, intent on building an empire in this world and saving souls for the next.