The United States celebrates only two holidays that honor an individual: Martin Luthur King, Jr., a man who gave his life fighting the legacy of slavery, and Christopher Columbus, the man who initiated it. While the true story of Columbus' "discovery" of America is one of greed and subjugation, the mythology that has been perpetuated throughout American history is a tragic irony that continues as we celebrate the quincentennial anniversary of his voyage.
The 25 essays and appendices in this book confront the popular view of Columbus as an heroic explorer and discoverer. The historical ramifications of Columbus' actions and the actions of those who followed are revealed in issues such as slavery and racism, the ecological and biological impacts of colonization, and the resulting holocaust of the indigenous peoples.
Also challenged is the perpetuation of the Columbus myth. Essays examine the teaching of Columbus myths in schools, the perception in current textbooks, the way libraries influence the portrayal and teaching of Columbus, and the work of the Christopher Columbus Quincentenary Jubilee Commission.
In addition to the three editors, contributors include Jose Barreiro, William Bigelow, Steve Charleston, Ward Churchill, Jan Elliott, Eduardo Galeano, Hans Koning, James Loewen, Luis Guillermo Lumbreras, John Mohawk, Jean Sindab, Verena Stolcke, Robert Allen Warrior, and Howard Zinn.